Bill Williams enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1942. His brother had joined the RAAF in 1939.
Bill was sent to Shepparton in Victoria to do his initial training, ‘rookies’. He undertook further training at Geelong, Sydney and Adelaide before being sent as an armourer’s assistant to Canberra to assist with the refit of No 13 Squadron RAAF.
No 13 Squadron was allocated the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura twin-engine medium bomber and patrol bomber as its aircraft.
Later, Bill served in Borneo with No 22 Repair and Salvage Unit RAAF. Part of Bill’s work consisted of retrieving enemy aircraft that had been shot down or damaged or crash landed. During this time, he also worked with American support units. Bill remembered the American troops living in the lap of luxury because they had access to an abundance of supplies.
On several occasions, Bill saw dead bodies of the enemy killed during the fighting. The sight was to haunt him as he recalled his return home to Adelaide when he could not finish a serve of meat offered to him because ‘it just tasted like dead bodies’.