|Pilot F/O William Torrens Hinds, RAFVR 129948 (KIA, BR)
Crashed September 7, 1943
Built by Supermarine. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number EF558. Disassembled and loaded as cargo and shipped overseas to Australia arriving on June 14, 1943.
June 16, 1942 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at 1 AP and reassembled. On July 11, 1943 assigned to 1 Air Depot (1 AD). On July 15, 1943 assigned to 1 FW. Finally, on July 18, 1943 assigned to 54 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On September 7, 1943 took off from Darwin Airfield (RAAF Darwin) at 10:40am as part of a seven aircraft flight along with Spitfires from 452 Squadron on a mission to intercept incoming Japanese aircraft over Tumbling Waters to the southeast of Darwin. The enemy formation included two Ki-46 Dinahs piloted by Murumitsu Sasaki and the other by C. O. Captain Kuruyasu Ichikawa escorted by 36 A6M Zeros from the 202 Kokutai. This Spitfire crashed near Pioneer Creek, killing Hinds in the crash.
Recovery of Remains
The next day, the crash site was located by the Australian Army and Hinds remains were recovered.
On September 14, 1943 the wreckage was recieved by 7 Repair Salvage Unit (7 RSU). On September 24, 1943 approved for write off.
During November 1943 this Spitfire was retroactively assigned a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) serial number A58-153.
Wreckage of this Spitfire remains at an Australian Army range at Kangaroo Flats near Pioneer Creek.
Hinds was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is buried at Adelaide River War Cemetery at grave G.C.7.
CWGC - William Torrens Hinds
ADF Serials - Spitfire A58-153
Thanks to Bob Alford and Daniel Leahy for additional information
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January 5, 2018