William Anderson J356997

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William Anderson William Anderson William Anderson William Anderson

439 Squadron

William Anderson was the son of Simon Christian and Gonda Anderson of Eckville, Alberta and later, Calgary. William was a farmer and caterpillar operator with a Grade 8 education. He had three sisters; two of his brothers enlisted in the RCAF with one brother staying on the farm at Eckville. One of his brothers, John, aged 24, was killed on February 10, 1942. Steward John Anderson was lost in the sinking of the HMCS Spikenard.

William was an airframe mechanic who remustered to pilot. He was a 'tall, spare lad -- mild spoken -- looks like a plugger and ambitious to be aircrew. Has taken CLWS Maths. Good material if medical ok.' He trained at #3 BGS, MacDonald and then #7 BGS, Paulson in May and June 1941. Then he went to #6 ITS in Toronto in May 1943 to start his training as a pilot. He was assessed, "Slow, stubborn type with plenty of fight when aroused. His cautious sensitive nature responds best to tactful handling. He is intelligent and has a good rugged appearance." He then went to #12 EFTS, Goderich where he was assessed, "This student is above average in most sequences. Plans flying well. No outstanding faults." At #1 SFTS Camp Borden, he received his Wings in October 1943. He was sent to an OTU in Saguenay, QC later that month. From there he was at Bagotville and Mont Joli.

William was known as 'Andy' on 439 Squadron. He was on his second tour and had flown 65 sorties when he was killed flying Typhoon MN936. From the 439 Squadron Diary: "The day was not without its sadness. We lost J36997 F/O Andy Anderson who was on the bombing of Dingden, Germany as explained in the attached 541. He had done 65 sorties totalling 75:25 operational hours and making a grand total of 501:00 flying hours. Flight leader J/36997 F/O W. 'Andy' Anderson spotted some flak positions so he called up the other two Typhoons and told them to follow him down. F/O Hallford who was No. 2 tried hard to observe where the flak was emanating from and took a squirt at some of the flashes coming from the forest below. The next time he looked up, Andy was on his back and heading earthward in a 20 degree dive from about 800 feet. F/O Hallford lost sight of him in the haze and smoke so that we do not know what happened to him."

More about William 'Andy' Anderson can be found within Typhoon and Tempest by Hugh Halliday.

LINKS:

  • Info about Anderson from 439 Tiger Squadron Nominal Roll
  • William Anderson Virtual War Memorial
  • John Anderson, Virtual War Memorial