By Pierre Kosmidis
Previously unpublished photos of a crashed aircraft, with German soldiers inspecting the burned cockpit area, possibly by her own crew, as was standard procedure, were successfully identified, thanks to two respected researchers John Korellis and Ioannis Mylonas.
Looking at two photos of the crashed aircraft, the two experts managed to find all related information and her crew’s Odyssey to Egypt.
According to John Korellis, the ww2 wreck is a Maryland Mk. II, serial number 1608 (AH304), serving with 24 SAAF Sqn, which crashed on May 25, 1941, in Crete.
Ioannis Mylonas added the following information:
Aircraft: Maryland II 1608 ex-RAF AH304
Lt. E. Ford SAAF PoW
2/Lt. G.L.W. Gill SAAF +
Sgt. D.D. McWilliam SAAF Evaded
Sgt. T.O. Muller SAAF Evaded
Took off LG16 (Fuka satellite), to attack Luftwaffe troop transports at Maleme airfield.
Attacked by fighters and crash-landed Tymbaki.
Unhurt the crew joined 71 other officers and men in trying to escape from Crete in a repaired landing craft.
They were stopped at sea by an Italian submarine and the officers were told to swim aboard it. While doing so 2/Lt. G.L.W. Gill drowned.
The others were instructed to return to shore, but led by Sgt. Mc William, who navigated with a 2-inch prismatic compass, they made it to Egypt, reaching Mersa Matruh three days later.
For this Sgt. Mc William was mentioned in despatches. 2/Lt. G.L.W. Gill commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.