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Des Williams - killed in a mid-air collision with a colleague

Desmond Gordon Williams was born on 12th July 1920 in Shropshire and attended Victoria College in Jersey. He joined the RAF on a short service commission and commenced training on 24th January 1939.

He was on No.12 Course at RAF Shawbury which ran from 15th April to 23rd October 1939.

Williams was posted to the newly-reformed 92 Squadron at Tangmere on 23rd October 1939. The squadron initially had Blenheims but began to receive Spitfires in March 1940. In William's first action, on 23rd May over the French coast, he claimed a Me110 destroyed and two others probably destroyed. Over Dunkirk on June 2nd he destroyed a He111.

Williams was a very successful pilot during the Battle of Britain. On 10th July Williams claimed a He111 probably destroyed; on the 26th a shared Ju88; on 14th August and 11th September He111s; on the 15th another He111 and a shared Do17; on the 29th a probable Do17; on the 30th another probable Do17; and on 4th October a Ju88 damaged.

Williams was killed on 10th October 1940. He collided with F/O JF Drummond during an attack on a Do17 near Tangmere. His Spitfire, X4038, crashed east of Brighton, pieces falling at Fallowfield Crescent, Hove. The ORB of 11 Group records the award of a DFC to Williams on 27th October 1940 but it was never gazetted.

Williams was 20 years old. He is buried in London Road Cemetery, Salisbury. He is also commemorated on the war memorial in the parish of St. Clement, Jersey.

Photos and text courtesy of Battle of Britain Monument website

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