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Maher, William Christopher "Paddy"

Date of death:
July 24th, 1946
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Cemetery Kiel
Plot: 6. Row: c. Grave: 5.
Service number:
363767 (NCO)/43177 (Officer)
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Wing Commander Wiliam Maher enlisted as an aircraft apprentice in 1923 and qualified as a Pilot on 13.8.1929 and was posted to No. 17 Squadron from 1930 until 1933. He then became a Flight Sergeant Instructor with No. 4 Flying Training School (Middle East) with wich he served until 1938 for whch he was decorated with the Air Force Medal on June 9th, 1938.
During WW2 he served as Flight Commander at No. 107 Squadron and Commanded 88 Squadrons During D-Day Operations.
He was killed in a flying accident over Sylt.

Flight Sergeant
1 april 1940: Pilot Officer (probation)
1 april 1941: Flying Officer (war sub)
1 april 1942: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
16 mei 1944: Squadron Leader (war sub)
1 september 1945: Squadron Leader (permanent)

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 88 (Hong Kong) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
November 7th, 1944
Recommendation:
"'Wing Commander Maher has now completed 44 operational sorties. These consist of medium level bombing, smoke laying, and night operations.
In 1943, he was appointed as a Flight Commander in No. 107 Squadron but after two sorties was removed from operational flying on medical grouds which seemed likely to preclude any hope for him of an operational career. However, he concentrated on making himself well, and by persuasion and cajolery managed to obtain an operational medical category, which permitted his return to 107 Squadron, again as a Flight Commander. In that capacity he flew 15 sorties against aerodrome and "Noball" targets, many of them heavily defended.
In the beginning of 1944, he became Commanding Officer of No. 88 Squadron, and immediately set about his job with tremendous ability and keeness. On one of his first sorties as leader of Squadron, against the "E" Boat Sheds at Ijmuiden, the anti-aircraft opposition was seen to be intense and accurate before the run-up to the target. But Wing Commander Maher continued undisturbed, bombed with sucess, although himself hit, and brought his formation through without loss. On several other occasions he has shown the same disregard for danger and as a leader.
On "D" Day he laid the initial smoke screen to protect the Western Flank of the assault forces at disembarkation. Since that day he has flown several successful day and night sorties in support of the armies.
Wing Commander Maher by his courage, skill and enthusiasm for operations has been an excellent influence in his Squadron and in the Wing. His leadership has contributed to the success of many operations."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 88 (Hong Kong) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
May 7th, 1945
Chevalier de l' Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur
Awarded posthumously. The investiture took place at the Institute Francais, London, on January 15th, 1947. The presentation was made by the French Ambassador, Rene Massigli K.B.E.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 88 (Hong Kong) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
October 21st, 1945
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
With Palme. Posthumously awarded
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
With "FRANCE AND GERMANY" clasp.
Air Crew Europe Star

Sources

  • - The London Gazette Issue 34849 published on the 14 May 1940
    - The London Gazette Issue 35165 published on the 16 May 1941
    - The London Gazette Issue 35580 published on the 2 June 1942
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36670 published on the 22 August 1944
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36782 published on the 3 November 1944
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37556 published on the 3 May 1946
    - Spink
    - Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    - Co. Kildare Online Electronic History Journal

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