Flight Sergeant William Conrad NAPIER DFM

Service No: 422348
Born: South Shields, England, 15 February 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 April 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 101 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Ludford Magna
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 101 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL860), France, 27 April 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Viroflay New Communal Cemetery, Yvelines, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William George and Annie Napier, of Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Bowral NSW
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Bowral Memorial, Bowral NSW

DFM Citation: Flight Sergeant Napier is an Australian who has completed 23 operational sorties comprising 158.50 hours and has always displayed a constant spirit of determination and endeavour worthy of the highest praise. This NCO has been employed on special duties with this squadron in the course of which it has become necessary for him to fly with several different Captains and crews. His keenness and cooperation has been an inspiration to all with whom he has come in contact and the very best results have been achieved by his technical skill and ability. With 12 attacks on Berlin to his credit, Flight Sergeant Napier has set a fine example by his courage and resourcefulness in action and it is considered that his devotion to duty is fully deserving of recognition by the award of the DFM. 25th April 1944 (Award with effect from this date)
Remarks by Station Commander: “Flight Sergeant Napier is a special duties operator of dauntless courage and dogged determination. He concentrates on his exacting task with sublime disregard for danger. His reports, often obtained during periods of intense enemy opposition, have been of an exceptionally high order. His unassuming manner conceals courage and skill of a high order. I recommend that his splendid achievement be marked by the award of the DFM.”
Remarks by Base Commander: “Flight Sergeant Napier has proved himself a man of marked devotion to duty, high courage and determination throughout his operational tour. I recommend that his praiseworthy record should be rewarded by the award of the DFM.”

Lancaster LL860 took off from Ludford Magna at 2120 hours on the night of 26 April 1944, detailed to carry out a raid on Schweinfurt, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was lost over France and all eight crew members (all of whom are decorated) were killed.

The crew members of LL860 were:

Flight Sergeant Charles Henry Cannon DFM (1394438) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Noel Vaughan Creighton DFM (1429155) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Irvine Irwin Donovan DFM (R/188791) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Alan Stanley Hollands DFM (1801850) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant William Conrad Napier DFM (422348) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Arthur Pearson DFM (1579725) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant R M Patmore DFM (1389061) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flying Officer Philip Finnis Rowe DFC (170723) (RAFVR) (Pilot)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/24/114
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Book Now Book Now