William Patrick Joseph GREGORY-COLEMAN

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GREGORY-COLEMAN, William Patrick Joseph

Service Number: 405244
Enlisted: 3 February 1941, Brisbane, Qld.
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 49 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Brisbane, Qld., 22 June 1921
Home Town: Auchenflower, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Christian Brothers College
Occupation: Government Services
Died: Flying Battle, United Kingdom, 7 September 1942, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Ipswich Old Cemetery
Sec. C. Div. 31. Grave 52.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Sergeant, SN 405244
3 Feb 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 405244, No. 49 Squadron (RAF), Brisbane, Qld.

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He was 21 and the son of Edward and Catherine Gregory Coleman, of Auchenflower, Queensland, Australia.

Died on 7th September, 1942, and buried by Canon Thomson on 10th September, 1942, at Ipswich Public Cemetery. 

His headstone inscription reads, “Fervent Catholic. Honest and Trustworthy. R.I.P.”  Age 21.

6/7 September, 1942; DUISBURG - NICKELS/RHEIMS:  Sgt. Thom (R5744), flying as captain for the first time, successfully completed a leaflet sortie in the Rheims area of France. Meanwhile, the Main Force, comprising 207 bombers attacked Duisburg. The squadron dispatched nine aircraft, all of which attacked the target successfully. Whilst on their bomb run P/O Jeffreys (R5752) and crew received three direct hits from flak, during which time the 2nd pilot, Sgt. Gregory-Coleman R.A.A.F. and Sgt. Maloney were wounded. The aircraft Captain managed to nurse his Lancaster back to England where over Orfordness he ordered four crew members to parachute to safety. P/O Jeffreys remained at the controls in order to attempt a safe landing with his wounded comrades on-board. A belly-landing was made at Martlesham Heath airfield, but sadly too late for Sgt. Gregory-Coleman who had died from his injuries.

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