Search for relatives of fallen Wirral pilot

The Halifax plane that Sergeant Kenneth Williams was flying in as flight engineer.

Pilot Kenneth William Organ's diary, showing the postponement of D-Day.

First published in News Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

THE search is on for relatives of a Wirral flight engineer who died in a horrific crash during World War II.

Eastham born Sergeant Kenneth Williams was just 22-years-old when the Halifax aircraft he was in collided with another over RAF Tiree airfield on August 16, 1944.

A memorial to Sgt Williams and the 15 other men from the 518 Squadron who lost their lives will be unveiled in Tiree on what will be the 70th anniversary of the tragedy.

Ken Organ, whose father - Kenneth William Organ - piloted one of the Halifaxes, is co-ordinating the memorial and hopes to trace the family of Sgt Williams.

“We’ve been able to make contact with the relatives of some of those killed in the crash and I would be delighted to hear from Sgt William’s family,” said Mr Organ.

“His parents, Herbert and Jessie Williams, were living in Eastham and he was buried in Bebington cemetery.”

The memorial – which will be unveiled on August 16 at the entrance of Tiree Airport in the Inner Hebrides – will be made of Tiree stone with a stainless steel plaque featuring the 518 Squadron crest and a picture of a Handley-Page Halifax.

The 518 squadron was responsible for checking the weather and reported back to the British and Allied troops.

It was their work that led to D-Day being pushed back due to poor weather conditions, originally set for June 5, rather than June 6.

The two Halifaxes had been on an air test prior to an eight hour-long Atlantic meteorological operation when they unfortunately collided due to extreme cloud cover – all 16 men were killed.

Like Sgt Williams, Mr Organ’s dad was very young -  just 24-years-old - when he died.

“I never knew my father, he was killed four months before I was born,” he said.

“When my wife and I visited Tiree we met veterans there who remembered 518 Squadron and that inspired me to start work on a memorial for the fallen crews.”

Mr Organ added: “It would be wonderful if relatives of Sgt Kenneth Williams are made aware of the memorial – the plaque will of course include his name and duty of flight engineer.

“They will be most welcome if they are able to attend the unveiling.
To contact Ken, email nagro@hotmail.co.uk

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