1352077 Sergeant Frederick David Wills was born in Hudson's Cottages, Irthlingborough, Northants, England and was one of eleven sons of John and Ellen Wills. He was educated in Irthlingborough and on leaving school, went to work as a boot and shoe operative for Loake Brothers in Finedon, Northamptonshire.
He married Gertrude Elizebeth Harrison at Wellingborough Registry Office on 4th February 1933 and they set up home together in Burton Latimer, Northants. Their daughter Sylvia Helen was born later that year.
Fred became a member of the RAF Voluteer Reserve in 1940 and rose to the rank of Sergeant Air Gunner. He was later described by his Commanding Officer as a man who caried out his duties in the most conscientious and capable manner, and was a very popular member of the Squadron.
On 4th July, 1944 Fred was a member of the seven men crew of Lancaster NE-174 of Royal Australian Airforce 460 Squadron, when they set out on a mission to bomb the Railway Sidings at Orleans. At 1-30am on 5th July, their aircraft (which had only flown 30 hours from new) was shot down near Jumeaux, a tiny hamlet between LeMans and Orleans. Initially, Fred was reported 'Missing in Action' but it was later established that all seven members of the crew had been killed and their remains buried nearby. The bodies were later exhumed for identification and in December, 1947 Fred's wife was notified that his body had been identified by means of his service number on his clothing and re-buried with three of his comrades at the Donnemain Saint Mames Communal Cemetery, Collective Grave 3.
Frederick David Wills was 30 years of age when he died. We will remember you Fred.
Many thanks to the Irthlingborough Historical Society for the above information.