Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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632181   Aircraftman Joseph McWilliams
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Dated added: 01/01/2016   Last updated: 10/04/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force (British Air Force)
Died: 07/10/1945 (Died by accident)
Age: 27
Summary      
Joseph McWilliams was the son of Bernard and Margaret McWilliams. He was born about 1918. Aircraftman 1st Class Joseph McWilliams served with the Royal Air Force in World War Two. He died on 7th October 1945. Aircraftman Joseph McWilliams was a passenger on a Stirling aircraft which was travelling from Cairo bound for the UK. The aircraft crashed at Rennes airfield in France, killing all 26 occupants.
Further Information
Joseph McWilliams was the son of Bernard and Margaret McWilliams. He was born about 1918.
Aircraftman 1st Class Joseph McWilliams served with the Royal Air Force in World War Two.
Aircraftman 1st Class Joseph McWilliams died on 7th October 1945. He was 27 years old.
On 7th October 1945 he was a passenger on a Stirling aircraft (Serial Number LJ668) from 299 Squadron, a special transport flight, was travelling from Cairo bound for the UK with a crew of 6 and 20 service personnel.
The aircraft had been airborne for nine hours. Fuel supplies were running low and the weather was poor. It attempted to make emergency landing at Rennes airfield.
After midnight, while completing a last turn in the poor conditions, the aircraft nosed down and crashed in flames in a field short of runway. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. All 26 occupants were killed.
Crash site at Rennes - LJ668
Crash site at Rennes - LJ668
Aircraftman 1st Class Joseph McWilliams was buried in Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery. His inscription reads: OF YOUR CHARITY PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF JOSEPH BELOVED SON OF B. AND M. McWILLIAMS. R.I.P.
Joseph McWilliams - Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery -
The CWGC record Aircraftman 1st Class Joseph McWilliams as the son of Bernard and Margaret McWilliams of Draperstown, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
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Relevant Magherafelt Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Draperstown area Draperstown CWGC lists parents in Draperstown area 54.795903 -6.786737
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 ABSA3945 Details of crash (in French) including photos
2 Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives Details of crash including photo
3 FindAGrave.com Photo of Aircraftman Joseph McWilliams' grave
4 RAF Commands - Forum Details of crash
5 RAF Commands - LJ668 Details of crew and crash
6 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Aircraftman Joseph McWilliams' grave can be purchased here
7 Wartime NI - Joseph McWilliams Details of Joseph McWilliams
Magherafelt District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2014-2020