Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bill Williams early Airship Pilot.

As a pioneer in this field, he obtained the Airships pilot's licence No 28 which gives the title to his book 'Airship Pilot Number 28'. With the First World War at its height, he was posted to Anglesey to a unit flying non-rigid airships over the Irish Sea to guard convoys of ships heading for Liverpool against submarines.He received an Air Force Cross for his efforts.
In 1918 he was seconded to be the First Officer of the much-decorated crew who flew the Airship SR1 from Italy to England; the longest flight achieved for some years.
With the war's end, he was part of an ill-fated expedition to use Airships in the seal fisheries of Newfoundland. Returning to England he was heavily involved in the burgeoning Airship industry until its demise with the crash of the R101.
Many years later, with the development of the modern recreational Hot Air Balloon, he became involved again in his first love and was of considerable use to the pioneers with his experience of actually having flown these things before.

In 1972 he gave an interview that is preserved in the collections of the Imperial War Museum, a truly remarkable testimony from one so closely involved in the airship war and flying the Zeros.

We are releasing Bill Williams recordings that relate to the Zero and his time spent based on the Anglesey airship station. We have added images to accompany his own words, some of which have never previously been published.

We have also managed to identify Captain Williams in a number of the group photos we have recently received.

Airships Over Anglesey Part One

A written account can be found in:

Airship Pilot No 28, Williams.T.B, William Kimber and Co. Ltd, London 1974