Sergeant William Luney (1059215) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He was the son of William George Luney and Mary Ann Luney (née Forbes) of Walthamstow, London. William lived at 40 Woodvale Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim.
He died in an aviation accident in north of Grove Farm, Beeston Fields, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire on 1st April 1942 aged 21 years old. He was Wireless Operator / Air Gunner on Lockheed Hudson AE558 when the Mark III plane took off at 1945hrs on a training flight.
After 2 circuits from RAF Oulton, Norfolk via Banbury and Hungerford, the plane had been in the air for 2 hours 50 minutes. Witnesses heard the engines running normally at a height of around 1,000 feet. Minutes later, they made a popping sound and cut out.
The plane came down and burst into flames on impact killing all the crew members on board. A board of enquiry found the engines had likely starved of fuel. The cause was probably that an inexperienced pilot had not changed over from an empty fuel tank to a full one.
William Luney’s name is on a family memorial in Glenalina Extension, Section L, Grave 347 of Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim.