Pilot Officer M W Williams RCAF. 103 Sqdn
Maldwyn Williams was born in Bettws, near Newtown, in mid Wales. His father was a minister in the area.
The family moved to the United States in 1920 for a brief period and then moved to Canada in 1926. “Maldie”, as he was known, attended the high school at Listowel Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1938. He then attended Knox College, a Presbyterian theological institution.
He joined the RCAF as a pilot trainee in 1940 and was transferred to the Air Observer course. On successful completion of his training he left for Britain in September 1941. He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister before going overseas.
After a period of further training he was posted from OTU to 103 Squadron at Elsham Wolds on the 7th May 1942.
On the night of the 19/20th May 1942 Maldwyn was sadly killed taking part in his first operation. On this night 103 Squadron detailed 5 crews to bomb the German U Boat base at St Nazaire on the West coast of France. The crew, of which Maldwyn was a part, consisted of:-
F/L P E Rees RAF
F/S L C Taylor RCAF
P/O M W Williams RCAF
Sgt B W Harris RAF
Sgt H C Watson RCAF
Sgt W Mitchell RCAF
They took off from Elsham Wolds in a Vickers Wellington 1C serial number Z1141 at 2248. It was reported that there was slight heavy and light flak over the target by the returning crews. Wellington Z1141 was shot down in flames in the vicinity of the target. There were no survivors from the crew who now rest at Escoublac-La-Baule War Cemetery 13 km West of St Nazaire.
I believe Maldwyn is unique in that he flew operationally as an ordained minister of religion. I know of no other and certainly not one that was killed.
Maldwyn’s brother, Ivor, also served with the RCAF and flew Spitfires with 443 ( RCAF ) Squadron as part of the 2nd TAF.
I am grateful to him for providing the photograph and background information concerning his late brother.
Item written by David Fell