Leading Aircraftman William Collins

Leading Aircraftman William Victor Collins, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was a Drogue Operator and died on Service on 27th December 1943, aged 22. He had been born in Leith and was the son of William and Annie Moffat Collins of the Hirsel Homestead, Coldstream and Edinburgh and is buried in Edinburgh ( Comely Bank ) Cemetery. He is not inscribed on Coldstream War Memorial but is remembered in the Parish Church on the Rodger Kirk Memorial plaque which was placed on the rear wall. He was working as a painter in Coldstream and was a member of the Rodger Memorial Church choir when he enlisted in 1941.   He had been aboard a Miles Martinet Target Tug aircraft of 10 Air Gunnery School when the engine failed. The pilot tried a forced landing but the aircraft stalled and crashed on Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness. ( A drogue was a type of airborne towed target which was used to give air gunners and fighter pilots practice in air to air firing). His Headstone is inscribed ” Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That He Lay Down His Life For His Friends”.

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