Warrant Officer William NICKALLS

Service No: 403677
Born: Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, 29 March 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 70 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 70 Squadron Wellington aircraft HZ874), Italy, 3 July 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Richard Percival Nickalls and Rose Nickalls, of Belmont, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Column 2, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2042 hours on 2 July 1943 Wellington HZ874 took off to attack Olbia. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it did not return to base. Following post war enquiries among the locals at La Maddalena, it was established that the aircraft was shot down and crashed in the sea between Palau and La Maddalena. As no trace of the missing aircraft or crew was found, it was recorded that the crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of HZ874 were:

Sergeant Gordon Henry Bennett (1217083) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Edgar John Heywood (1266937) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Patrick McGarry CGM (1344057) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer William Nickalls (403677) (Pilot)
Sergeant Gerald Alec Smith (1388690) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)


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, 166/29/28

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