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William P Kelly


Joined RCAF, service pilot training, shipped overseas to ETO, operational training at OTU, assigned to 121 [Eagle] Sqn RAF, Fw190 destroyed on Rodeo to Abbeville, France 31-7-42
transferred to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Dispatched in Spitfire EN918 to strafe a convoy off Walcheren Island. He was hit by flak from one of the ships at 1200 feet. Attempted to make land, but A/C was seen to go into the North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). 5-2-43. Body not recovered.

Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 335th Fighter Squadron

    335th Fighter Squadron

    The 335th Fighter Squadron was the offspring of No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF. Formed on 21 May 1941, No. 121 was the second of the three Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying out of England. They were known as the "Chiefs" and were...

  • No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...


  • EN918

    Supermarine Spitfire EN918 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...


  • VIII Fighter Command PATROL & STRAFING

    5 February 1943
    4th Fighter Group has two operations of this date: 2 Spitfires are despatched on routine patrols along the English coast; 6 other Spitfires are despatched to strafe a German ship convoy. 2 corvettes and one merchant ship are damaged. 1 Spitfire is shot...

Associated Place

  • Biggin Hill

    Military site : airfield
    An RAF Station with US lodger units. USAAF Spitfires and P-38s were attached to RAF No 11 Group stations in mid-1942 for training; also used for special operations by British and US forces.

  • 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...


Event Location Date
Born Saratoga, New York 23 August 1918

Born - 23 August 1918 Saratoga Springs, New York, USA.

Lived in Saratoga, NY, USA 1940

Saratoga, New York, USA.

Joined RCAF Canada 1940

Joined Royal Canadian Air Force. Fl/Sgt.

Service pilot training Ottawa, ON, Canada 1940

Service pilot training.

Shipped overseas Merseyside, UK 1940

Shipped overseas to ETO.

Operational training Great Britain, United Kingdom 1941

Operational training at OTU. Conversion to Hurricane and Spitfires.

Assigned Kirton in Lindsey, Gainsborough, North Lincolnshire DN21, UK 1941 – 14 October 1942

Assigned to 121 [Eagle] Sqn RAF.

E/A Kill Abbeville, France 31 July 1942

Fw190 destroyed on Rodeo to Abbeville, France. 31-7-42.

Transferred Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 14 October 1942 – 5 February 1943

Transferred to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF 14 October 1942

Died 4364 Walcheren, Netherlands 5 February 1943

Killed when aircraft was shot down by flak while strafing an enemy ship convoy near Walcheren Island, Holland. Killed in Action (KIA). His remains have never been recovered.

Buried 1945

Memorialised on the Tablets of the Missing, Netherlands American Cemetery.


Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 18:23:24 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.

Date Contributor Update
25 October 2015 18:15:10 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.

Date Contributor Update
25 October 2015 18:06:53 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, 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
29 January 2015 19:41:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 29-Jan-2015. Added decoration , confirmed SN and Commemorated event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record; KIA event and loss details in biography per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE and confirmed by Peter Randall, webmaster and historian of the wesbsite.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:35 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor, Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol I by Bishop and Hey, p .74, with picture, ABMC web site / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list