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Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 28th August 1944
Flying Officer William Coates was the navigator of a Mosquito fighter-bomber of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, based at Picauville, France, which was on a night patrol north of Paris. At 2330 hours, whilst it was over Corbeau, the Mosquito engaged a Junkers 88 night-fighter. It was hit by the Junker's return fire and broke up in the air and crashed. The pilot was thrown clear but William was killed.
William was the son of William Robert Addison and Eleanor Anne Coates. He was aged 35. Before he enlisted in the R.A.F. he attended Manchester University where he gained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree.
William is buried in Villeneuve-St-Georges Old Communal Cemetery, France. Villeneuve-StGeorges is a town 18 kilometres southeast of Paris. The old and the new communal cemeteries are close together on the southeast edge of the town. In the old cemetery are the graves of 18 British soldiers of the 1914-1918 War as well as 48 graves of soldiers and airmen of the 1939-1945 War. William lies in Grave 142.