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William George Sweney

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Biography for William George Sweney. RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939 - 1945 (Bound Volumes) - Ea - Gw. ARchives New Zealand (R17845616-0355). CC-BY 2.0.

Biography for William George Sweney. RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Per …

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    William George AWMM
  • Surname
    Sweney AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Bill Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022 - Family oral and photographic history
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ411001 AWMM
    • WWII 411001 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    23 April 1919 AWMM HokitikaWestland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Parents: Mr & Mrs H. W. R. Sweney, Rolleston Street, Hokitika AWMM
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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Embarkations

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • William Sweney was the son of Herbert William Reid Sweney and Lilian Sweney of Hokitika

      Attended Hokitika District High School and Christchurch Boys' High School (Source: RNZAF Biographies (R17845616)) AWMM
    • His brothers were Merle, Jack, Fred, Norris, Harry & Ray Sweney, and his sisters were Lily McGeorge, Myrtle Chinn and Thora Chinn.
      He grew up in Hokitika but went to boarding school in Christchurch where Merle was a teacher; his brother Fred also boarded with him there, and later in Wellington before they both went into active service.
      Bill's training included time in Canada, and in Scotland. He became friendly with a young woman there, and the relationship was obviously serious enough for her to be in touch with Bill's family in NZ for some time. She described Bill as being such a fine man, and she corresponded with Fred's wife Audrey for some years. She knitted fair isle outfits for the 3 children Fred had had by 1949.
      Two of Bill's younger brothers also became pilots, and a nephew, Rob Sweney, also took up flying. Bill's framed photo, medals and pilot's log book, are in Rob's possession. Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022 - Family oral history.
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    4 July 1943 AWMM
    Age 23 AWMM
    EgyptNorth Africa AWMM
  • Date of death
    Bill died on 7 April 1943, not 4 July. Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022 - Family oral history, family papers.
  • Age at death
    23 Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022 - Family oral history, family papers.
  • Place of death
    Gulf of Gabes, North Africa. Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022 - Family oral history.
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    No grave. His plane dived into the sea. Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022 - Family oral history.
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name
    • Alamein Memorial, El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt AWMM
    • Hokitika DHS war memorial
      Hokitika RSA roll of honour
      Wanaka Museum roll of honour
      Christchurch Boys High School roll of honour Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022 - Oral family history and personal visits

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of William George Sweney

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  • My Uncle Bill was close to my father, Fred Sweney, in both age and relationship.
    After Uncle Bill went missing (he was shot down over the Gulf of Gabes during the final days of the North African campaign) my parents were on their own in Nelson while Dad was picking apples - Mum said it was awful; there was no one to grieve with, no funeral, no family to be with, nothing. It was a long time before Dad found out what actually happened. Because his plane wasn't quite ready, when the squadron had to 'scramble', Bill took off late - a lone plane was an easy target. He was shot down; his plane dived into the sea and that was it.
    He was a quiet, capable man, and apparently a good pilot. Now there is no one left in the family who remembers him. I honour the sacrifice of the uncle I never knew; his photo and medals always hung in my grandmother's house.
    Public - Audrey Elizabeth - Other relative - 11 May 2022
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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • References
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      vol. 3, p. 462 vol.2, p. 81 AWMM
    • This record is a work in progress and was partially compiled from the “Database of New Zealand Airmen who took part in Advanced Air Training in Canada during WW2”. Researched by Ivan and Lorna Lindsey of Tauranga. N.Z. 2003 – 2012. Reproduced with permission. AWMM
    • RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939 - 1945 (Bound Volumes) - Sm- Ty. Archives New Zealand (R17845616) - Former archives reference: AIR118 AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - List of Personnel Killed or Missing in Various Theatres, 1940 - 1945. [Missing - But Presumed Dead on Lapse of Time - Officers, Airmen]. Archives New Zealand (R17845743) AWMM
    • Please note that the 12 volumes of the "RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939-1945" held at Archives NZ (formerly known as AIR118) should be used in conjunction with Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow". FYT reflects detailed examination of all of the AIR118 bios which contain many inaccuracies and omissions. AWMM

Contributors

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
29 September 2022KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher
11 May 2022Audrey ElizabethCanterbury, NZOther relative
23 August 2017JeniferWairarapaResearcher

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