William Francis (Buff) O'Neill

Memorial: Elberton (Aust) - St John's Church

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Medals: 1939–45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, War Medal 1939–1945

Rank and number: Sergeant Air Gunner

Parents: William Henry and Florence Anne O'Neill

Marital status: Married

Home address: Home address: Priest Pool Nursery, Elberton. Lived: The Cottage, New Road, Olveston

Pre-war occupation: Worked in BAC patent office

Date of birth: 1912

Date of death: 22/05/1944

Buried/Commemorated at: Buried at Zundert Protestant Churchyard Noord-Brabant, Netherlands commemorated Elberton War Memorial

Age: 31

Further information:

William was one of 4 brothers and his father, who had previously run an independent boarding school in the Wirral, moved to Elberton to run a fruit nursery whilst his mother worked as a district nurse. William attended Christ’s Hospital School Horsham from 1924 to 1929 and on leaving school he and 2 of his brothers worked at Bristol Aeroplane Company. William married Joan in Bristol in the 3rd quarter of 1941 and together they had sons - the inscription on his gravestone reads: “BUFF", SO MUCH BELOVED AND REMEMBERED ALWAYS BY HIS WIFE, MOTHER AND HIS SONS.

William joined the RAF volunteer reserve in January 1944 and was stationed at RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire. On the night of the 21st of May, he and his crew took off in Lancaster bomber LL951 as part of a bombing raid (510 Lancaster bombers and 22 escorting Mosquito aircraft) on Duisburg in Germany. William’s plane was shot down over the Netherlands and William and 4 other crew members died in the subsequent crash at Zundert near Antwerp.

William also served with the 460 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

This information has been provided by Sarah Hands, Volunteer Researcher for the South Gloucestershire War Memorials Web Site.
By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):
The War Memorial Book for the Parishes of Olveston & Aust South Gloucestershire compiled by William Morgan