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Flight Lieutenant William ("Bill") Knowles, DFC was an Anglo-Portuguese airman of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died during the Second World War.

He was the son of William and Maria Rebelo Knowles, of Carcavelos, Portugal. Knowles enlisted in the RAFVR as an other rank and obtained a commission as a pilot officer in March 1941.[1]

In 1943, while serving as a pilot with anti-shipping 220 Squadron, Knowles was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for participating in a number of sorties, including successful attacks on German U-boats. He transferred to 238 Squadron, with which he died on 30 March 1945, aged 28, on an anti-shipping raid against Porsgrunn-Skein harbour, in occupied Norway. The raid struck at least three ships, but Knowles' de Havilland Mosquito struck an overhead cable and crashed into woods.[2]

He is buried in Skien Civil Cemetery with his crewmember, Flight Sergeant Thomas.


  1. The London Gazette (35254), p. 4870, 22 August 1941. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  2. Bowman, Martin (2014), Battlefield Bombers: Deep Sea Attack, p. 194.