William Ivan Holmes

New Zealand born Pilot William Ivan Holmes died on board Liberator KG896 on 19th March 1945 in a Royal Air Force training accident in Northern Ireland.

Flying Officer

William Ivan Holmes


Flying Officer William Ivan Holmes was a Pilot under instruction on Consolidated Liberator KG896 as it took off from RAF Aldergrove, Co. Antrim on 19th March 1945.

Flying Officer William Ivan Holmes (416205) served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force during World War Two. Born on 30th October 1921, he was the son of William John Holmes and Margaret Ellen Holmes. He was the husband of Marion E Holmes of Pukekohe East, Auckland, New Zealand.

Holmes served as a pilot in RAF No. 1674 Heavy Conversion Unit. He died on 19th March 1945 aged 23 years old on board Consolidated Liberator KG896. The plane took off from RAF Aldergrove, Co. Antrim on a low-altitude radar exercise on a moving target on Lough Neagh.

During the flight, the crew made several radio transmissions indicating everything was in order. At 0218hrs on 19th March 1945, the control tower at RAF Aldergrove, Co. Antrim picked up the final communication from KG896. Only 2 minutes later, the plane crashed into high ground 900 feet above sea-level at Tornagrough. The crash site was approximately 6 miles west of Belfast, Co. Antrim. All members of the crew died in the incident.

Remembering the crew of Liberator KG896

Last Name First Name(s) Rank Role Information
Holmes William Ivan Flying Officer Pilot (Pupil) RNZAF 416205. Killed.
Pryde Alan James Flying Officer 2nd Pilot (Pupil) RAAF 436583. Killed.
Sargent Stanley Frederick Bright Flying Officer Navigator (Pupil) RAFVR 165074. Killed.
Appleyard Richard Henry Flying Officer Navigator (Pupil) RCAF J/42507. Killed.
Honey Cecil Andrew James Flying Officer Navigator RAFVR 174869. Killed.
Cheyne William David Flying Officer Wireless Operator (Pupil) RAFVR 157532. Killed.
McNeilly Patrick Sergeant Wireless Operator (Pupil) RAFVR 1522944. Killed.
Hook Rolinson Sidney Palliser Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner (Pupil) RAFVR 1603654. Killed.
Bates Dennis Archibald Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner (Pupil) RAFVR 1868033. Killed.
Edge Ronald James Sergeant Flight Engineer (Pupil) RAFVR 1895861. Killed.
Aston Oliver Sergeant Air Gunner (Pupil) RAFVR 1880856. Killed.

William Ivan Holmes’ grave is in Section E, Grave 24 of Eglantine Church of Ireland, Lisburn, Co. Antrim.