William Hudson "Bill" Maguire




Born in 1912?
The son of John William and May Maguire
Husband of Vera Maguire of Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
Enlisted in the RAFVR early in 1937
Initially he instructed
Posted to 85 Squadron in night fighters in 1943
Flew with W.D. Jones as his Navigator
Both recieved gallantry awards by years end
Both were then sent to the FIU
Maguire taking command late in 1944
In November the pair destroyed an He111 carrying a V-1
He was Killed in a Flying Accident, 17 February 1945
He is buried at Climping (St. Mary) Churchyard
Bill Maguire - Original work by Orde, photo copyright Simon Maguire 2008


Acting S/L William Hudson MAGUIRE (62249), Distinguished Flying Cross
30 November 1943, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 85 Squadron.

This officer has undertaken many sorties at night and has shot down 4 enemy aircraft. He has displayed great skill and determination and his efforts have been most commendable.


85 Squadron RAF
Some pilots of 85 Squadron. Bill is sitting center right. To his left is Norwegian pilot Johan Råd. (Help in identifying any of these men is always appreciated! Thanks to nephew Johan Råd for the ID of Johan)

Op Report, July 23rd 1944

1 Airborne wittering 23.35. Weather hazy, clearing over sea. Grossed in Esmond and reached Patrol Area without incident.
2 All three airfield beacons lit and E/W V.E. seen at Twente. During patrol flew over town of Rheine and was illuminated immediately by 8-10 searchlights. Evaded at high speed down to 500 feet.
3 During patrol there was evidence of bomber activity to the N.E. and at 01.40 all three airfields became very active, numerous brief signals on D.R. lights and No.2 ESNs being seen.
4 Proceeded to Twente where contact was obtained below and abandoned as a better one was obtained above and at 2 miles range. This was closed to 50 - 100 yards and proved to be a Ju88 night fighter, on left hand orbit. This aircraft was examined at very close range and had Ju188 empennage, cannon blister under fuselage, radial engines and practically no visible exhausts. The cannon on Mosquito 360 failed to fire and we eventually broke away slowly passing below and to starboard of the 88 at about 50 yards range when the aerial array, consisting of four large dipoles was clearly visible.
5 During this chase F/L Jones had five contacts on the tube in addition to the 88 described. Two of these were held throughout and once F/L Jones was certain I had a firm visual he gave me their ranges and elevation. They were also on port orbit slightly above and at 2½ and 3 miles range.
6 Although no kill was registered owing to faulty guns this was a most interesting sortie, and definitely proved that provided A.I. equipped aircraft can be placed in the Hun N/F areas when these aircraft are being landed a big killing can be made.
7 The aircraft at Twente were all on left hand orbit and were stepped up over their base from 1000 feet to possibly 8000 feet. At no time did we have reason to suspect that the Hun knew of our presence.
8 The aircraft were being landed efficiently and rapidly, about one every 2-3 minutes, three searchlights being exposed immediately behind the landing aircraft as they passed over the final bar of the V.L.



Wing Commander William Hudson Maguire DFC was killed in a Mosquito accident in Rustington, February 17th 1945.

Maguire, and his regular Navigator Bill Jones, had been flying from Ford with 85 squadron on Fighter Interception duties generally, but on this occasion, Denis Lake DFM (who had been "Willy" Williamson's Nav) was the duty navigator.

They were testing a US altimeter when there was a suspected control problem or engine failure causing a loss of control. After a slow roll from 2,500 ft. the plane continued two more rolls before straightening out at 500 ft. Unfortunatly, they continued to lose height and crashed into houses (pictured above in more recent times) at Rustington, near Littlehampton, killing Maguire, Lake and three civilians.

Bill Jones, who had just landed from either Manston or Hunsden, witnessed the crash with other members of the squadron.

The accident report states that he experianced a loss of control after executing a slow roll.


Bill's Headstone




Victories Include :

21/22 June 1943
7/8   Oct 1943
15/16 Oct 1943

8/9  Nov 1943
??  Nov 1943
one FW 190
one Me 410
one Ju 88
one Me 410
one Me 410
one He 111
destroyed &

6 / 0 / 0

[a] One Mosquito XII, A.I. Mark VIII, No. 65 Squadron, F/L W.H. Maguire, Pilot, and P/O Jones, Operator, took off West Mailing 0110 hours and landed there 0350 hours 22nd June 1943. Controlled by Sandwich G.C.I. (Controllers F/L Sully and F/O White). Pilot was patrolling the Channel off Dungeness at 23,000 feet when he was told that a Bogey was approaching steering North-West. Contact was obtained at three miles range of a target at 20,000 feet weaving and steering 310 degrees and diving gently. Pilot was then told that the A/C was friendly and he was given a vector to break away. Pilot said he was not satisfied and was going to investigate. Sandwich agreed. The range was closed by diving at full throttle at 2900 revs. - I.A.S. 310 mph. At 5,000 feet range, the pilot throttled back to 260 I.A.S., the height then being 18,000 foot. The target was weaving in routine fashion and steering 330 degrees. A visual of the exhaust was obtained at 2,000 feet range and pilot closed to 50 yards and below to identify the target, which at this point flew straight and level. Having identified the E/A as a FW190 with long-range fuel tanks, pilot drew back to 100 yards and opened fire, strikes being observed and the starboard fuel tank flashed white and flew off. The E/A turned sharply to starboard through 90 degrees and was followed visually at 200 yards. It then turned gently to port, and the range was reduced to 100 yards by Pilot turning inside. He allowed 1/2 ring of deflection and fired again, strikes being observed on the fuselage and an orange glow being seen in the cockpit. The E/A then turned on its back and spun down vertically leaving a trail of sparks and smoke. Pilot did a tight turn and watched the E/A hit the deck with an explosion, the time then being 0230 hours.
The crash was reported as in the River Medway and the jettisoned tank at Grid Ref. R1389.

[b] (Me410 of KG2, believed to be U5+KG of 16 Staffel) One Mosquito XII, A.I. Mark VIIIA, No. 85 Squadron, S/L W.H. Maguire (pilot), and captain L. Lovestad (Nor), Operator, took off West Malling 1910 hours and landed there 2155 hours, 7th October, 1943, Under G.C.I. Wartling (Controller P/O Powell) Pilot was ordered up to 25,000 feet and was then vectored on to a Bandit flying north-west at 16,000 feet, pilot rapidly lost height to 18,000 feet and obtained a visual of airborne lights well below on the starboard quarter. G.C.I. Controller warned him that there were two bandits a mile apart in line astern, pilot closed in by weaving down to 12,000 feet and steadied up behind at about 2,000 feet range when e/a took very violent evasive action. Aircraft was recognized as Me410 type, carrying red light and yellow light on port and starboard wing-tips respectively, and a very bright white light on the tail. The speed was 260 mph IAS and a violent dog fight ensued, bandit appeared to make repeated attempts to get on the tail of the Mosquito. This lasted several minutes until pilot got in two bursts observing strikes on the port side of the fuselage and the port wing. The e/a turned and dived on to a southerly course, Pilot followed at about 340 mph IAS and closing range again, to fire a further burst from 250/300 yards as the e/a steadied up and was about to enter cloud at height 3,500 feet further strikes being observed. The estimated position was about 10/15 miles south of Hastings and time approx. 2055 hours. This was confirmed by P/O Shaw and F/Sgt. Wyman who were patrolling the Channel and saw a burning mass fall through the cloud and burn on the water. In view of this S/L Maguire requests that his original claim of one Me 410 damaged be stepped up to one Me 410 destroyed.

[c] & [d] ([c] Actually a Ju188E-1 of 3E+FL of 1/KG6 & [d] Believed to be a Ju188E-1 3E+RH of 1/KG6) One Mosquito XII, Mark VIIIA, S/L W.H. Maguire and F/O W.D. Jones, Operator, took off West Malling 2215 hours and landed there 2330 hrs. Pilot was given a bandit at 20 miles range and told to climb to 20,000 feet. Contact was obtained at 2&1/2 miles range (on port side and below). Pilot closed in to 2.000 feet range, height 18,000 feet and Bandit did a hard diving port turn, the Mosquito turning inside it. Pilot saw the silhouette of pointed wings, also the black crosses, and identified the e/a provisionally as a Ju188. He pulled the sight through and allowed two rings deflection, opened fire at 250 yards range closing to 100 yards. Strikes were observed on the port engine, which burst into flames. The e/a continued hard round to port, straightened up then did a tight nose up turn to starboard, losing height. The fighter followed and attacked again from starboard, and astern, firing from about 30 degrees of closing range 50 yards. This burst stirred, up and spread the fire, and the e/a fell out of the sky burning well. Inaccurate return fire was experienced throughout the combat. By the light of the fire, pilot obtained good view of the cockpit shape and changed his estimate of its type to Me 410. S/L Maguire claims this e/a destroyed, Me 410, but possibly Ju 188.
Pilot checked his Machine after the combat and was immediately given another Bandit, range 8 miles, traveling west. Several vectors were given and contact was obtained 1&1/2 miles range, well above, crossing port to starboard. Pilot’s height was 18,000 feet, and he climbed up in steps, closing to 2,000 feet range on a gently-weaving target traveling west, height 23,000 foot. At 1,500 feet range the e/a pulled his nose up and peeled off to port being identified as Me 410. Pilot followed visually against the light cloud background and closed the range by turning inside. The e/a steadied up to 1,000 feet range and Pilot opened fire, hoping to wing it, but no strikes were observed. Tracers from the e/a were seen to pass above and below the Mosquito, but the firing was very wild and inaccurate and badly directed. The e/a then turned sharply to port and pilot closed the range by turning inside, pulling the sight through and opening fire from astern 20 degrees port, range 250 yards closing to 100 yards. Strikes wore observed on the engine and central section which burst into flames. The e/a turned sharply to port and downwards, and Pilot watched it dive clown, burning well. He orbited and checked his machine, and while doing so observed a very extensive glow through the cloud layer, as the e/a hit the deck and exploded. The position was plotted as Square M 62 and the time was 2310 hours. S/L Maguire claims this Me 410 also destroyed.

The binos given to Bill by Hauptman Helmut Waldecker KC, the pilot of the Ju188 he shot down. They are marked "Touristiqua 8x30 Germania N.B.P." Waldecker also gave Bill his Luger pistol, a highly prized souvenir at the time. Unfortunately it was turned in during a gun amnesty program before Simon knew of its existence ... damn ...

[e] (Me410 WNr 10224 of KG2, Major Wilhelm Schmitter KC/OL & his Nav. Uffx Felix Hainzinger both KIA) One Mosquito XII A.I. Mark VIIIA S/L W.H. Maguire (PILOT) and F/O W. D. Jones (OPERATOR) took off West Malling 2158 and landed there 23.50. When under Wartling G.C.I. (Controller Corporal Amos) informed of bandit approaching head on range 15 miles flying north west. Contact was obtained about six miles head on slightly on starboard side and above, time 2030. Turned round to starboard and came in behind at three and a half miles range, bandit showing well above. Held Mosquito down to gain speed and then climbed up in steps I.A.S. 220/240 closing range slowly but steadily. A visual was obtained on moon illuminated a/c 2500 foot range and fifteen degrees above, angels 241/2 slightly port of twelve o'clock, I.A.S. 220. Closed range to 1500 feet where a visual was obtained on fairly bright pale blue twin exhaust flames. At 1000 foot range a/c identified as Me.410 and S/L Maguire opened fire at 200 yards dead astern. Many strikes were observed all over aircraft and burning pieces flew off it. Opened fire again and flames were observed coming from center section. Broke away to starboard and watched a/c go into a gentle dive on an even keel with no further evidence of fire so pilot attacked again closing to 150 yards, further strikes and large orange glow in fuselage observed. Broke away to starboard to avoid flying wreckage and saw e/a go into a vertical dive trailing sparks and black and white smoke, time of combat approx. 22.43 hours. E/a crashed on land near Eastbourne with bombs on board.
Claim 1 Me 410 destroyed. ( A fragment from this claim is shown below )

[f] No info


Me410 piece
Fragment from a Maguire kill - Tag on remnant reads: Messerschmitt 410, Friday Street, Hampden Park, Eastbourne, Sussex. 9th November 1943. 15/KG 2 U5+BF. Dug Sept. 1976 - Uffz Hainzinger & Major Schmitter.


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Simon Maguire for the photos & infos !

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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