Flight Sergeant Stanley Donald Wills (400746) served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two. Born on 21st March 1922, he was the son of Korah Stanley Wills and Helen Pearson Wills of East St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.
Stanley enlisted on 14th October 1940. Before joining the Royal Australian Air Force, he was a dispatch clerk. He also served with 5th Victoria Scottish Regiment. At the time he lived with his mother and stepfather at 245 Alma Road, East St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia. Before joining the air force, Wills picked up a civil conviction for riding a bicycle on a footpath!
After completing training, he left Sydney, Australia on 22nd February 1941. He arrived in Canada on 16th March 1941 and took part in a Flying Training Course at No. 11 Service Flying Training School at Yorkton, Saskatchewan. On 18th June 1941, he left for the United Kingdom and arrived on 17th July 1941.
Back Row: 1. Victor William Johnstone, 2. Ronald Victor Flanagan, 3. Raymond Thomas Brewin, 4. John Alexander McMillan, 5. Edward Earnest Coate, 6. William Robert Kilpatrick, 7. Brian Snowball, 8. William Kent Sloggatt. Middle Row: 1. John Rutherford Gordon MC, 2. Robert Wilson Baxter, 3. Kenneth Edward Collins, 4. Stanley Donald Wills, 5. John A’Beckett Penleigh Boyd, 6. Valden Leonard Bailey, 7. Clifford Alan Stachwell, 8. Alexander Philip Stepto Wood. Front Row: 1. John Callahan, 2. Arthur Geoffrey Oxlade, 3. Douglas Leslie McGregor, 4. George William Walters, 5. Mervyn Richards Roberts Green, 6. Alfred Henry Blake, 7. William John Storey, 8. Frederick Stanley Stevens.
Wills died on 26th May 1942 aged 20 years old. He was the pilot of Bristol Beaufighter X7573 with RAF 153 Squadron. At the time, RAF 153 Squadron was at RAF Ballyhalbert, Co. Down. Around 1500hrs, Wills’ plane flew into a large white cloud, making a steep turn at around 9,000 feet above Co. Down not far from the airfield.
The Mark IF plane was next seen 1,000 feet below the thick cloud in heavy rain. Heading for high ground, the pilot made a steep left turn and the Beaufighter came down on the high ground near Moneyreagh, Co. Down.
Remembering the crew of Beaufighter X7573
|Last Name||First Name(s)||Rank||Role||Information|
|Wills||Stanley Donald||Flight Sergeant||Pilot||RAAF 400746|
|Edwards||William Richard||Sergeant||Observer||RAFVR 77621|
|Willis||William Richard||Sergeant||Observer||RAFVR 121902|
Stanley Donald Wills’ grave is in Grave 4 of St. Andrew’s Church of Ireland, Ballyhalbert, Co. Down. His name is on Panel 132 of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. His headstone in Co. Down bears the inscription:
His duty nobly done. We will remember him.