LEST WE FORGET

Squadron Leader Richard Agnew WILLS DFC

Service No: 400666
Born: Adelaide SA, 15 August 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 October 1940 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 236 Squadron (RAF), RAF North Coates, Lincolnshire
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 25 April 1944 (Citation Title: No. 236 Squadron RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 236 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NE828), French Coast, 18 July 1944, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Bruce Agnew Wills and Lucy Wills, of Cremorne, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 256, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation: In March 1944, this officer participated in an attack on a large enemy convoy in the Heligoland Bight. The attack was well executed and pressed home with vigour and the success achieved reflects the greatest credit on the resolute leadership and great skill of Squadron Leader Wills. This officer has completed very many sorties and has rendered much valuable service.

Beaufighter NE828 of No. 236 Squadron was one of twelve No. 236 Squadron aircraft which took off on 18 July 1944 from RAF North Coates on a Wing anti-shipping strike off Normandy at last light. The target was attacked at 2229 hours. NE828 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and seen to crash into the sea with one engine on fire. The crew were later recorded as having lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of NE 828 were:

Flying Officer Douglas Ian Neville Graeme Sinclair (152131) (RAFVR) (Navigator (W))
Squadron Leader Richard Agnew Wills DFC (400666) (Pilot)

References:

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/64/184

Bibliography:

Winter, V.A. (Vincent Adams) (408547) Noble Six Hundred: the story of the Empire Air Training Scheme with special reference to Australians who trained in Southern Rhodesia, V.A. Winter Brighton VIC 3186, 1982