Flying Officer William John WOODS

Service No: 415002
Born: Katanning WA, 28 July 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 June 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PB299), Germany, 19 September 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George and Kathleen Woods, of Mount Lawley, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Honour Avenues, Kings Park WA

No. 5 Group bombed the twin towns of Munchen Gladbach and Rheydt on 9th-10th September and again on 19th-20th September. The Waddington squadrons joined only in the second raid when, despite some confusion concerning the three precise aiming points, a very satisfactory level of general damage resulted in the industrial and residential sections although the pure “transportation” facilities escaped vital damage.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 299

Lancaster PB299 took off from RAF Waddington at on the night of 19/20th September 1944 to bomb Rheydt near Munchen-Gladbach. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Nineteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these PB299 failed to return

The crew members of PB299 were:

Sergeant Dennis Henry Francis Burton (159312) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Robert Keith Emrose (427592) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Alexander Carlisle Findlay (415937) (Pilot) Evaded Capture, Discharged from the RAAF: 3 May 1946
Flight Sergeant Carl Francis Larkin (427387) (Bomb Aimer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 January 1946
Sergeant Harry Hemmingway (1492963) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Neil Willington (436767) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 22 February 1945
Flying Officer William John Woods (415002) (Air Gunner)

In a later statement Flight Sergeant Larkin reported “Hit by night fighter at about 11,000 feet. Emergency jump order given by Captain. I baled out about 5,000 feet. Aircraft out of control and on fire at rear. Controls gone. Crashed about 15 miles south west of Eindhoven. At time did not know who baled out. Think one member of crew came down near me. Found his chute and heard him moving about but did not contact him. Think he may have been the WOP. Thought he was a German so kept quiet. Tried to get to our lines but picked up by Germans about 4 o’clock on 20 September. Released by Russians on 22 April 1945.”


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, 166/44/178


Walley, B (Brian) (Editor) Silk and Barbed Wire, RAF Ex-Prisoners of War Association (Australian Division), Sage Pages Warwick WA 6024, 2000 – An Unwilling Guest of the Third Reich by Carl Larkin, Page 309

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