Samuel Williams

Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, 455 (Australian) Squadron
Service number 1381723
Died 21 January 1942
Buried Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands
Age 29

Headstone Inscription
In Hebrew. Translation coming soon.

Samuel was the son of Louis and Leah Williams. Husband of Lily Williams of Hightown, Manchester. Further family research is ongoing.

Samuel was the wireless operator on Hampden AT119 which departed RAF Swinderby at 17.19 on a night operation to bomb harbour installations at Emden, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter at 21.10 hours near Schloshteren, 15 kms east of Groningen, Netherlands. Three crew were killed and Francis Poulton became a prisoner of war. The crew members of AT119 were:

Nav, Sergeant Ian MacPherson Ince, 400028.
Pilot, Sergeant Francis Gerald Poulton, 404261, PoW, Discharged from the RAAF, 30 November 1945
A/G, Sergeant G E Wilkinson, 1375311.
Sergeant Samuel Williams, 1381723.

In a 1945 report, the then Warrant Officer Poulton recorded: “We were shot down by a night fighter at 12,000 feet. Bale out orders were given to all members over the Inter/Com at once as the aircraft was well on fire after being attacked. No reply received from any member from the moment the fighter attacked. I was able to fly the aircraft on both engines down to 10,000 feet when fire forced me to bale out. Owing to my position in the cockpit (Pilot’s cockpit – Hampden) I was unable to see any member of my crew and whether anyone had baled out. I also tried to attract the crew through the warning light on the panel. The aircraft was straight and level when I baled out.
The aircraft crashed near Groningen, Holland. I was later informed by British Red Cross that the others had died. Captured a few hours after baling out. Released by Russians 22 May 1945.”

National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/125/35