MAHER, William Christopher, Flight Sergeant (363767) - Air Force Medal - awarded as per London Gazette dated 9 June 1938 in King's Birthday List; reported in Aeroplane of 15 June 1938. On 30 April 2004 his medals were offered at auction by Spink, whose catalogue provides much of the following. Born 9 December 1907. Enlisted as Boy, Specialist Group FA/E, 6 February 1923, and posted to No.2 Wing, Halton. To No.1 Wing, Halton, 1 April 1923. Under training in that group, 17 March 1924. Remustered as Aircraft Apprentice, AC2, Aircraft Hand, under training as of 9 December 1925. To Home Aircraft Depot, 15 January 1926. Reclassified as AC1, FA/E, 1 July 1926. Reclassified LAC, FA/E, 1 January 1927. To No.1 Flying Training School, 11 September 1928. Remustered to pilot (under training), 11 September 1928. Qualified as a pilot, 13 August 1929. To No.33 (Bomber) Squadron, 14 August 1929. Promoted Sergeant, 17 September 1929. To Central Flying School, 20 November 1929. With No.17 Squadron , 1930 to 1933. To Central Flying School, 13 March 1933. To No.5 Flying Training School, 15 June 1933. To Cranwell College, 29 June 1933. To Middle east, 23 September 1933. To No.4 Flying Training School, Abu Sueir, 3 October 1933. Confirmed in Sergeant rank and pilot trade, 21 August 1934. Qualified as A.2 instructor, 16 November 1934 or 6 December 1934. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 15 August 1937. To Home Establishment, 11 May 1938. To No.6 Flying Training School, 27 August 1938. Commissioned as Pilot Officer on Probation (43177), 1 April 1940. . To Central Flying School, 10 April 1940. To Anti-Gas School, 24 June 1940. To Central Flying School, 8 July 1940. Promoted Acting Flying Officer, 22 July 1940. To No.13 OTU, 26 August 1941. Promoted Acting Flight Lieutenant (paid), 5 September 1941. Confirmed as Flight Lieutenant, 1 April 1942. Appointed Acting Squadron Leader (paid), 4 July 1942. To No.107 Squadron, 27 December 1942. To No.13 OTU, 14 February 1943. Returned to No.107 Squadron and appointed Flight Commander, 20 October 1943. Promoted Acting Wing Commander, 16 February 1944 and given command of No.88 Squadron. Confirmed as Squadron Leader, 16 May 1944. To No.2 CSU, 20 August 1944. Awarded DFC, 22 November 1944. To No.107 Squadron, 7 April 1945. Awarded Legion of Honour (Chevalier), 7 May 1945. Awarded Croix de Guerre with Palm, 21 October 1945. Selected for Permanent Commission (General Duties Branch) in rank of Squadron Leader, 1 September 1945. Permitted to retain Acting Wing Commander rank, 14 November 1945 on detachment to No.1 Officer Air Training School (until 12 December 1945). Killed 24 July 1946, Mosquito VI, serial TA495, No.107 Squadron, with 170256 F/L Edwin Robert Bowden, DFC (navigator). Colin Cummings, Final Landings, writes, "The aircraft was engaged on air to air gunnery firing. At a height of 400 feet both engines failed and the pilot attempted a forced landing. However, the aircraft struck a fence and was destroyed in the subsequent crash."

For exceptional zeal and efficiency as a flying instructor employed continuously for over four years at this unit.

This Non-Commissioned Officer qualified as a pilot in 1929, as an instructor in 1933, and gained an A.2 category in November 1934. He has been recommended by the Chief Flying Instructor, Central Flying School, for an A .1 Category.

He has done 1,466 hours 30 minutes flying instruction and has instructed 65 pupils.

The quality of his work as a flying instructor is always of an exceptionally high standard.

MAHER, William Christopher, W/C, AFM (43177, Royal Air Force) - No.88 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 November 1944. No published citation, Following from Spink catalogue. Recommendation for DFC (which reads rather roughly) from Spink catalogue.

Wing Commander Maher has now completed 44 operational sorties. These consist of medium level bombing, smoke laying, and night operations.

In 1943 he was appointed as a Flight Commander in No.107 Squadron, but after two sorties was removed from operational flying on medical grounds which seemed to preclude any hope for him of an operational career. However, he concentrated on making himself well, and by persuasion and cajolery managed to obtain an operational medical category, which permitted his return to No.107 Squadron, again as a Flight Commander. In that capacity he flew 15 sorties against aerodrome and “Noball” targets, many of them heavily defended.

In the beginning of 1944 he became Commanding Officer of No.88 Squadron, and immediately set about his job with tremendous ability and keenness. On one of his first sorties as leader of squadron, against the “E” boat sheds at Ijmuiden, the anti-aircraft opposition was seen to be intense and accurate before the run-up to the target. But Wing Commander Maher continued unperturbed, bombed with success, although himself hit, and brought his formation through without loss. On several other occasions he has shown the same disregard for danger and as a leader.

On “D” Day he laid the initial smoke screen to protect the Western Flank of the assault forces at disembarkation. Since that day he has flown several successful day and night sorties in support of the armies.

Wing Commander Maher, by his courage, skill and enthusiasm for operations has been an excellent influence in his squadron and in the Wing. His leadership has contributed to the success of many operations.

MAHER, William Christopher, A/W/C, DFC, AFM (43177, Royal Air Force)- Public Record Office Air 2/9141 has recommendation for a French Legion of Honour, one of several which had been offered by Officer Commanding, French Air Force in United Kingdom, 13 November 1945 and which was still subject to correspondence as of 5 December 1945. Clearly this became his Croix de Guerre.

This officer, a pilot in the Royal Air Force, has, during a long series of operations on the Western Front, shown brilliant qualities and great personal courage. As Commanding Officer of No.88 Squadron, brother-in-arms to No.342 (Lorraine) Squadron, has often led French crews into combat. At the head of the Wing has obtained magnificent results, particularly on 26th March 1944 [sic, 1945 ?], at Ljmuiden, against enemy submarine hideouts. “At night, in all weather, without respite has bombed and harassed the retreating enemy, destroying several motorised vehicles and two trains.” Subsequently posted to No.13 Operational Training Unit as Chief Instructor, has by his magnificent example, imparted to numerous young French pilots his enthusiasm and courage in the fight against the common enemy, thereby forming crews worthy of carrying on the traditions of No.342 (Lorraine) Squadron.