Sergeant Thomas Gordon WILLIAMS

Service No: 404381
Born: Charters Towers QLD, 2 February 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 August 1940
Unit: No. 16 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 16 Operational Training Unit Hampden aircraft P5303), Warwickshire, 1 November 1941, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery, Warwickshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Hubert Malcolm and Georgina Roslyn Williams, of Gympie, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Dalby QLD
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 1 November 1941 Hampden P5303 took off from RAF Upper Heyford detailed to carry out a navigation training exercise. Soon after acknowledging a recall signal, the aircraft dived and crashed near Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire and all on board were killed.

The crew members of P5303 were:

Sergeant John Maurice Butterworth (1069853) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Arthur Richard Enderby (1180457) (RAFVR) (Observer)
Sergeant Raymond Charles Hollingworth (R/58216) (RCAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Thomas Gordon Williams (404381) (Navigator)

A Flying Accident report later found: “that the primary cause of the accident was bad instrument flying when flying in a shower, resulting in a stabilized yaw. A secondary cause was that the aircraft spun into the ground.” The CO of 16 OTU stated: “RAF Wellesbourne informed me that this aircraft was seen spinning to the left and then to the right prior to hitting the ground nose first during a small rain storm. The aircraft was carrying 6 x 250 lb bombs but they did not explode.
The Group Captain 16 OTU stated: “This pilot was a good steady type. It is difficult to understand why an isolated rain shower should cause him to lose control. The Pilot lost control in cloud through bad instrument flying He took correct action to recover but kept the rudder on too long resulting in the aircraft diving into the ground.”


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, 163/178/217

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