Flying Officer William George PARKES

Service No: 420497
Born: Riverstone NSW, 25 May 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 November 1941
Unit: No. 198 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Manston
Died: Injuries from Air Operations (loss of No. 198 Squadron Typhoon aircraft JR447), Kent, 9 March 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frank Roy and Lilian Parkes, of Bega, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Riverstone NSW
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1040 hours on 9 March 1944 Typhoon JR447 took off from Manston together with three other aircraft from the Squadron, detailed to carry out a Ranger operation on targets south of Paris. Owing to very thick haze over Paris all the aircraft were obliged to return to base. On the return journey Flying Officer C R Abbott (RCAF) (No. 1 to Parkes) observed that both wing tips of JB447 were damaged. It was believed the aircraft had flown between two obstructions while flying in formation at zero feet. Flying Officer Parkes reached the English coast in the vicinity of Dungeness accompanied by Abbott although he was apparently having difficulty controlling his machine. Parkes informed his No.1 that he was running short of petrol and intended to force land at Lydd. At approximately 1225 hours Parkes endeavoured to land but when only a few feet off the ground he decided to make another circuit. The aircraft did not climb and it hit a clump of trees at the edge of Lydd airfield, and burst into flames. Flying Officer Parkes was taken to a clearing station but died of his injuries later that day.


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, 166/32/322

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