21.02.1945 No. 184 Squadron Typhoon IB MN749 BR-W F/O. Ross
Operation: Armed reconnaissance
Date: 21st February 1945 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 184 Squadron (121 Wing. 83 Group)
Type: Typhoon IB
Base: B80 Volkel, Netherlands
Location: Ostönnen, Germany
Pilot: F/O. William Desmond Ross NZ/42464 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
With the great research carried out by Errol Martyn on the Royal New Zealand Airforce losses we have been able to compile this page. If you have further information and or photographs we would welcome contact from you.
The Squadron undertook 2 operations on this day. The earlier operation - 2 sections left at 12:25 hrs. but due to mechanical problems with their aircraft the 2 section leaders returned. As no one else had the experience to lead all but one aircraft returned by 13:15. Sadly, Fl/Lt. Kenneth Archibald Creamer 134997 RAFVR reported that he had a glycol leak and was going to force-land his Typhoon. The pilot taken PoW for the remainder of the war - it seems that this was his first operation.
The 2nd operation taking off at 15:10 hrs on an armed reconnaissance over the Hamm - Gutersloh area. Again 2 sections of 4 left although 1st section leader, Fl/Lt. Hornall DFC also had to return due to mechanical problems with MN633 so F/O. Ross took over as leader. P/O. Gilham also retuned with mechanical problems.
During the 2nd pass whilst attacking German trucks, he was seen to dive through cloud and hit the ground and exploded. It was later discovered that he had been hit by anti-aircraft fire from a flak unit based on a train and he had crashed 200 metres from the railway station at Ostönnen.
Initially buried at Schwefe (see map) then reinterred at the CWGC cemetery at Reichswald after the end of the war.
F/O. William Desmond Ross. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 26.G.17. Son of William Eris Ross and Ina Doris Ross, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Total 504 flying hours logged, completed 92 operational sorties.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: