Flight Lieutenant Horace Spencer Wills (Bill) Fordyce

Service number 400396
Birth Date 30 March 1914
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Black Rock
Death Date 08 February 2008
Place Black Rock
Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
Description

Flight Lieutenant Horace Spencer Wills 'Bill' Fordyce enlisted to the Royal Australian Air Force on 20 August 1940, after previously serving in the Citizen Military Forces. He completed his pilot training in Australia and the United Kingdom, and went on to serve with 458 Squadron. With this unit, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce flew operations over the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In June 1942, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea by German fighter aircraft. He and his remaining crewmembers swam to shore, and were taken by the Italians as prisoners of war. Flight Lieutenant Fordyce was initially held in a prisoner of war camp in Sulmona, Italy, and was later transferred to Stalag Luft III, and Air Force Officers camp in Germany. On 24-25 March 1944, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce participated in the 'great escape' from Stalag Luft III. He was the last man to enter the tunnel, and turned back to the camp when the German Guards began to shoot into tunnel’s exit. After the Allied victory in Europe, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce returned to Australia. He was discharged on 25 October 1945.

Timeline

Date of birth 30 March 1914
Date of enlistment 20 August 1940
Date of discharge 25 October 1945
Date of death 08 February 2008