World War 2 (1939 - 1945)


Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Ritchie

Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit: Costal Command No.4 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit
Rank: Aircraftman 1st Class
Service Number: 1118932

William Ritchie was born in 1916 in Glasgow, son of Alexander and Agnes Cameron Ritchie. In 1940, he married Audrey Joan Webb in Glasgow and subsequently they lived in Newton Mearns.

He was attached to No. 4 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, part of Coastal Command* at RAF Stranraer for training aircrew on flying boats. On 12 October 1941, he was a crew member of flight W3997 'R', a Sunderland ll which crashed into the sea off Lossiemouth. There were no survivors and the cause of the crash was never determined. William was 27 years of age and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial and on the War Memorial in Merrylea Parish Church, where his parents gifted a window in memory of him and his brother Inez who died on 24 April 1929. His name is also recorded on the family gravestone in Cathcart Cemetery.


 *Coastal Command operated Liberators or Sunderland and Catalina Flying Boats. They often flew with a crew of ten men or more, spare for long patrols of 16 – 18 hours.

© 2021 Mearns History Group. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Nuadha