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William H Nichols


Joined RAFVR, service pilot training in US, shipped overseas to ETO, OTU training, assigned to 71S, FTR 7-9-41, POW.


Units served with

  • No 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    No 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 19 September 1940, No. 71 was reformed at Church Fenton as the first 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American personnel. The Squadron received Hurricanes in November and became operational on defensive duties on 5 February 1941. No. 71 converted...


  • AB909

    Supermarine Spitfire AB909 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. Delivered to No 6 MU 16-8-41, assigned to 71S 2-9-41, shot down by Bf109 on sweep over France 7-9-41, SOC 30-11-41.

Associated Place

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...


Event Location Date
Born California, USA 14 June 1914

Born 14th June 1914.

Joined RAFVR Canada 1940

Joined Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

Service pilot training Tulsa, OK, USA 1940

Service pilot training in US.

Shipped overseas Merseyside, UK 1940

Shipped overseas to ETO.

Operational training Great Britain, United Kingdom 1940

Operational training at OTU. Conversion onto Hurricane and Spitfires.

Assigned Kirton in Lindsey, Gainsborough, North Lincolnshire DN21, UK October 1940 – 7 September 1941

Assigned to 71 [Eagle] Sqn RAF.

Failed To Return FTR Saint-Omer, France 7 September 1941

Failed To Return from fighter sweep over St Omer, France in Spitfire AB909. Shot down by Bf109. Baled out and captured.

Prisoner Of War POW Stalag Luft III Zagan, Poland 7 September 1941 – 1945

In the bag !! - Prisoner Of War. Stalag Luft III.

Buried Moss Landing, CA, USA 1981

Castroville Public Cemetery, Moss Landing, CA, USA.

Died Moss Landing, CA, USA 10 September 1981

Died 10th Sept 1981.


Date Contributor Update
09 October 2015 17:36:13 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, service number, highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:10 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit roster in the book Duxford Diary by the Duxford Aviation Society, 1989 edition