AviationHeritage.org - Working to document aviation heritage and history through the use of modern technologies
WWII era Bellman Hangars at Deniliquin, NSW (Daniel J. Leahy, 2014)
Home | People | Aircraft | Historical Documents | Map of Sites | Legislation & Ethics | Contributors | Contact Us Facebook Twitter Instagram Sketchfab


Service:Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number:402933; O21977
Rank:Group Captain
Date of Birth:17 May 1916
Place of Birth:Ganmain, NSW, Australia
Date of Death:12 October 1964 (Aged 48 years)
Decorations:Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar

AWM: SUK12496


Distinguished Service Order:
This officer has completed a very large number of sorties and throughout has displayed leadership, skill and gallantry of the highest order, whilst his determination to make every sortie a success has been notable. On one occasion, whilst over Berlin, his aircraft sustained damage when fires started in one of the wings and in the fuselage. Although the rudder controls were affected and the compass was unserviceable, Squadron Leader Brill flew the damaged aircraft to base. On another occasion, more recently, his aircraft was hit by shrapnel whilst over the target. One engine was put out of action, some navigational equipment was rendered useless and other damage was sustained. In spite of this and in the face of adverse weather, Squadron Leader Brill flew the aircraft safely home. His record is worthy of the highest praise.

Distinguished Flying Cross:
One night in May, 1942, this officer was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack the Gnome Rhone works at Gennevilliers. Bad weather was encountered throughout the journey and fine determination was shown in flying through heavy rain squalls. Pilot Officer Brill's aircraft was caught in searchlights, and anti-aircraft fire damaged the hydraulic system and put the rear turret out of action. After making a circuit at 1,500 ft. Pilot Officer Brill carried out an attack at 2,000 ft. and hit the target. The hydraulic pipes, operating the bomb doors, were subsequently damaged and the bomb doors could not be closed. The return journey was made in bad weather. Pilot Officer Brill, thinking that he would probably have to make a crash landing, decided to descend away from his base and he succeeded in making a good landing without flaps and with one wheel damaged. This officer showed splendid courage and determination and has proved to be a resourceful pilot at all times.

Burial Details



Grave of G/Capt W.L. Brill, DSO, DFC & Bar, at the Canberra (Woden) Public Cemetery

External Links

World War 2 Nominal Roll
The London Gazette - Distinguished Service Order Citation (16 May 1944)
The London Gazette - Distinguished Flying Cross Citation (23 June 1942)
The London Gazette - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross Announcement (12 January 1945)

Record updated on 17 May 2018.


Find out how you can have your business or organisation logo shown here.

Website Designed and Built by Daniel J. Leahy, 2016-19.