Flight Lieutenant William Joseph 'Timber' Woods DFC, RAF no. 39605

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by spidge, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Read a very detailed account here:

    Commonwealth biplane fighter aces - William 'Timber' Woods

    Flight Lieutenant William Joseph 'Timber' Woods DFC, RAF no. 39605

    Woods photographed in Greece, 1941.
    William 'Timber' Woods was born in 1913 and was an Irishman.
    He was commissioned in January 1938 and was serving with the Station Flight at Hal Far, Malta, as a Flying Officer at the start of 1940.
    With the threat of war with Italy looming, he was one of the pilots selected to form the Fighter Flight, set up at Kalafrana with a handful of Sea Gladiators.
    During the first air raid on Malta shortly before 07.00 on 11 June 1940 three Gladiators (N5519, N5520 and N5531) were scrambled. Led by Flight Lieutenant George Burges (in N5531), Squadron Leader A. C. Martin and Flying Officer Woods were ordered up to meet the attackers. There were so many targets over Valetta and Hal Far that the Gladiators became split up.
    Burges saw nine bombers turning in a wide circle south of the island, obviously preparing to head back to Sicily. Cutting across the circle, he and one of the other pilots (probably Squadron Leader A. C. Martin) gave chase, and he was able to fire most of his ammunition at one bomber without apparent result. These were some of 34o Stormo BT S.79s which had hit Hal Far, and the crews reported that the Gladiators fired from long range. One S.79 piloted by Capitano Rosario Di Blasi from 52o Gruppo was hit in the fuselage.
    At 19.25 the eight and final raid came in and the Gladiators were scrambled again. Flying Officer Woods first attacked two different S.79s without apparent result before being attacked by an escorting MC.200 from 79a Squadriglia flown by Tenente Giuseppe Pesola who blasted off 125 rounds at him without result. Woods immediately went into a steep left-hand turn. He circled with the enemy fighter for three minutes before he got it in his sight. He got in a good burst with full deflection. The Italian fighter went down in a step dive with black smoke pouring from his tail. He couldn’t follow it but he taught it went into the sea. Woods was subsequently credited with an unconfirmed victory as the first victory for the defenders of Malta. In fact Pesola’s aircraft hadn’t even been seriously damaged. Evasive action and the black exhaust smoke from the hastily opened throttle had obviously misled Woods.
  2. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Bloody hell, Pesola must have really poured the coal on!

    Good post, Spidgeman.
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    It always amazes me what the Glad could do with a good pilot - though not in this particular case
  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Yes, I think it's fair to say this was before Woods got his eye in. Still, he appears to show promise in that snippet!
  5. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    I love that Biplane Aces site but the orange makes your eyes go funny :headhurt:

    Any good books on Gladbag flying?

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