John Edwin Ashley Williams

John Edwin Ashley Williams

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John Edwin Ashley Williams

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Squadron Leader John Edwin Ashley "Willy" Williams, DFC (6 May 1919–29 March 1944) was an Australian air ace during the Second World War. He served in the Middle East and North Africa with the Royal Air Force (RAF), and was among the Allied prisoners of war (POWs) murdered by the Gestapo, following "The Great Escape", in 1944.Edlington, David. Air Force News, vol. 46, no. 5, 8 April 2004. Retrieved: 6 February 2008. He commanded No. 450 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for three days, before he was captured in 1942.


Early years

Willams, who was born to Australian parents in Wellington, New Zealand, was from Sydney. According to one source, he grew up in or near the beachside suburb of Manly and was a champion surfer.

Willams travelled to the United Kingdom where he joined the RAF as a Pilot Officer on a Short Service Commission, in 1938.

Second World War

On 14 August 1939 Williams was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant, relinquishing the rank on 27 October...
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