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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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Bomber Command Crest
26.01.1944 No 227 Squadron Beaufighter TF.X JL708 F/O. Alexander H. Will

Operation: Shipping

Date: 26th January 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 227 Squadron

Type: Beaufighter TF.X

Serial: JL708

Code: 9J-E

Base: Berka III, Benghazi, Libya

Location: Off Limeni, Greece

Pilot: F/O. Alexander Harold Will AUS/420093 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. Brian Findley 136376 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Taking off from Berka at 08:48 hrs with 3 others. At 11:17 hrs. a caique was spotted anchored at the small bay of Limeni. During the attack Beaufighter JL708 failed to pull out of a dive, killing both the crew members.

Australian pilot F/O. Alexander Harold Will

During an operation attacking shipping it is understood that they were hit by German anti-aircraft fire. The Beaufighter crashed at around 12.00 hrs into the sea off Limeni, Greece. Other aircraft searched for the crew but discovered only wreckage.

The remaining three continued with their operation to Kalamata.

The others involved with the attack:

JL910 9J-S Flown by W/Cdr. John Buchanan with W/O. Reg Howes.
EL467 9J-Y Flown by Fl/Lt. John Bliss with F/O. Norman Rigby.
EL409 J9-K Flown by Sgt. Sidney Appleton with Sgt. Jack Fenton.

Graves of the crew - any relative who would like a high resolution copy of the grave are invited to contact us (courtesy Antonelos CH. Athanasios)

Burial details:

F/O. Alexander Harold Will. Phaleron War Cemetery. Grave 7.C.19. Son of Mathew Glory Will and Gladys M. Will of Lagoon Flats, Burragorand, New South Wales, Australia. Husband of Alice Will, of 7 Mornington Crescent, Cranford, Hounslow, Middlesex, Middlesex, England. (Later at 98 Scotts Road, Southall, Middlesex, England)

F/O. Brian Findley. Phaleron War Cemetery. Grave 4.C.10. Son of Horace Isdale Findley and Miriam Nancy Findley, of Stockton Heath, Warrington, Lancashire. His brother Roy Charles Samuel 1451563 RAFVR also killed on service on the 17th April 1943. Age 22. Buried at Stockton Heath (St. Thomas) Churchyard, Cheshire, England. Row 8, Grave 43. Piloting a Whitley V LA768 From 81 OTU on a night cross country training exercise - taking off at 21.36 hrs from RAF Whitchurch Heath. Crashed at 23.31 hrs at Aylesbeare some 6 miles ESE of Exeter, England. 2 Crew killed, 3 injured

'Combat Over the Mediterranean'. Author Chris Goss ISBN-13: 978-1473889439 223 pages published in English 2017.

Researched by Antonelos CH. Athanasios with information gained from Christ Goss and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to National Archives, Australia. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

KTY - 15.11.2017: New information added.

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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