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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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04.10.1941 Detachment Flight Moth DH60 NZ552 P/O. Williams

Operation: Training

Date: 04th October 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: Detachment Flight (4 Squadron)

Type: DH60M Tiger Moth

Serial: NZ552

Code: NZ-1 (ZK-AFR)

Base: Nandi Airfield, Nadi, Fiji

Location: Nadi Bay, Fiji

Pilot: P/O. Ronald Leon Giles Williams NZ/404435 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Safety Pilot: P/O. Francis Soltau Pillans NZ/404940 RNZAF Age 26. Killed


On an instrument flying exercise. The aircraft was seen flying at 11:45 hrs on a steady course at 2,000 ft over NadiBay. Suddenly the aircraft took a nose down attitude and dived straight into the Bay. No explanation has been found as to the cause.

Although at the time Vincent NZ358 was testing its guns in the same area and the possibility exists that perhaps a stray bullet may have hit the pilot.

With thanks to Errol Martyn for this information.

Burial details:

P/O. Ronald Leon Giles Williams. Bourail Memorial. Panel 5. Son of Arthur Giles Williams and Edith Jean Williams, of Wellington City, New Zealand. Total flying hours logged 92 solo with 56 on this type.

Safety Pilot: P/O. Francis Soltau Pillans. Suva Military Cemetery Grave 13.181. Born on the 21st November 1914 , the son of William Soltau Pillans and Emily Pillans, of Tauranga, Auckland, New Zealand. Total flying hours logged 272.

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:

KTY 22.05.2019

Acknowledgements: 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', 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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