Pilot Officer William Moody MacDonald (102146) served in the Royal Air Force during World War Two. He was the youngest son of Robert MacDonald and Sara MacDonald of 47 Bryansburn Road, Bangor, Co. Down.
He enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940, joining from the Queen’s University Belfast Officer Training Corps. Before attending Queen’s, he had been a pupil at Bangor Central School, Bangor Grammar School, and Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards, Co. Down. He went on to study Engineering at university.
At school and university, he was a keen sportsman, playing rugby and taking part in athletics events. He was also a member of 1st Bangor Boys’ Brigade.
William died on 28th August 1941 aged 20 years old. He was a pilot under instruction with RAF No. 58 Operational Training Unit. He was flying in Miles Master T8581 alongside Flight Lieutenant Bogdan Grzeszczak of the Polish Air Force. The plane took off from RAF Grangemouth, Stirlingshire. MacDonald and Grzeszczak were practising dogfight manoeuvres with Miles Master T8541 when the plane spun out of control. It crashed to the ground 1 mile south of Maddieston, Stirlingshire and burnt out killing both men.
William Moody MacDonald’s grave is in Section 3K, Grave 160 of Bangor New Cemetery, Bangor, Co. Down. His name is on the Queen’s University War Memorial, Belfast, Co. Antrim. On 1st October 1941, William’s mother Sara MacDonald unveiled a memorial plaque at what was then known as the “Cripples’ Institute Home” at Stricklands, Bangor, Co. Down. Pupils of Bangor Central School, Bangor, Co. Down raised funds for a cot in his memory. William’s father Robert MacDonald was Principal of the school.