William Robert CLELAND

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CLELAND, William Robert

Service Number: 415006
Enlisted: 21 June 1941
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Perth Western Australia , 27 September 1908
Home Town: Scarborough, Stirling, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Railway Fireman
Died: Flying Battle, 4 miles southwest of Eddystone Lighthouse Cornish Coast, 20 May 1943, aged 34 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Northam Fallen, Runnymede Air Forces Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Flying Officer, SN 415006, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
21 Jun 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 415006, 4 Initial Training School
23 Jun 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 415006, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
23 Jun 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 415006, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
2 Oct 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer
3 Apr 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 415006, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45
Date unknown: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 415006, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)

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Biography contributed by Graham Padget

William Robert Cleland was son of Robert and Lilian Elsie Cleland; husband of Patricia Margaret Cleland, of Scarborough, Western Australia.

On 20th May 1943, with Flying Officer Cleland on board in his roll as Navigator, No. 10 Squadron Sunderland aircraft W3986 departed Mt. Batten Plymouth Sound Devon England.

Approximately 12 minutes after W3986 had taken off on a ‘Derange’ patrol (an operation from 6 April to 13 June 1943 to cover the approaches to the Bay of Biscay), coast guard personnel from Rame Head and Looe reported seeing a flash followed by an explosion approximately four miles north west off Eddystone Lighthouse at 0520 hours. Later that afternoon a destroyer searching the area found wreckage including floats thought to be from the Sunderland. 

 

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