Alexander Jennings WILLIS


WILLIS, Alexander Jennings

Service Number: 401873
Enlisted: 26 April 1941
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 3 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Corowa, New South Wales, Australia , 9 August 1920
Home Town: Balldale, Corowa Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Albury Grammar School (1932-35) New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Flying Battle, Libya, 22 January 1943, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya
Plot 12. Row D. Grave 15.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Flight Sergeant, SN 401873
26 Apr 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2, SN 401873, No. 2 Initial Training School
11 Dec 1941: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant
12 Jun 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant
26 Aug 1942: Embarked Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 401873
20 Nov 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 401873, No. 3 Squadron (RAAF), Middle East / Mediterranean Theatre

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Biography contributed by David Barlow

Flight Sergeant Willis 401873 in Kittyhawk FL325 of 3SQN was hit by flak and ran into the tail of another Kittyhawk after losing control of his aircraft - he crashed near Ben Gardane and was buried next to his aircraft by soldiers.

He had been in a group of twelve Kittyhawk fighters from 3SQN on an armed recce in the Pisida - Zuara area - the unit was forming up after strafing enemy traffic on the road when FL325 was hit

One half of the group had already bombed the German landing ground at Ben Gardane where fifteen single-engined aircraft were parked while the other 6 aircraft attacked a convoy of up to 100 nose to tail vehicles.