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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Thomas Klersy

In memory of:

Squadron Leader William Thomas Klersy

May 22, 1945

Military Service


Service Number:

J/12199

Age:

22

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

D.F.C. and Bar. R.C.A.F. 401 Sqdn.

Honours and Awards:

Distinguished Service Order

Additional Information


Born:

July 30, 1922
Brantford, Ontario

Enlistment:

June 28, 1941
Toronto, Ontario

Son of William P. and Grace G. Klersy, of Toronto, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 531 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

XXI. E. 15.

Location:

Groesbeek is located 10 km south east of the town of Nijmegen and close to the German frontier. The Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery is 3 km north of the village and 1500 metres east of the main road to Nijmegen. On leaving the A73 motorway at the junction Overasselt Mook Groesbeek follow directions to Mook. Follow direction signs towards Mook War cemetery. After passing Mook War cemetery continue to the village of Groesbeek to a set of traffic lights. Turn left at the lights onto Dorpstraat passing through Groesbeek. The road name then changes to Molenweg. A Commonwealth War Graves Commission direction sign indicates the right hand turning from Molenweg onto the Zeven Heuvelenweg. The Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery is located on the right hand side, about 1 km after entering this road. On the Memorial in the Canadian War Cemetery at Groesbeek are inscribed the following words:
Pro amicis mortui amicis vivimus, We live in the hearts of friends for whom we died.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Newspaper clipping– In memory of the men and women remembered on the pages of the Toronto Star. Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of WILLIAM THOMAS KLERSY– From the research work done by Margaret Rose Gaunt and submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of WILLIAM THOMAS KLERSY– From the research work done by Margaret Rose Gaunt and submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of William Thomas Klersy– (undated)
  • Photo of William Thomas Klersy– Photo
Left S/L Klersy
Right S/L Jack Sheppard

See more on www.acesofww2.com
  • Document– From the research work done by Margaret Rose Gaunt and submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Document– From the research work done by Margaret Rose Gaunt and submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Document– From the research work done by Margaret Rose Gaunt and submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Medal– Distinguished Flying Cross
Recipient of DFC and bar.
Citation for DFC:
KLERSY, F/O William Thomas (J12199) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.401 Squadron - Award effective 5 September 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944.  Born in Brantford, Ontario, 30 July 1922.  Enlisted in Toronto, 28 June 1941. Trained at No.6 ITS (11 October to 6 December 1941), No.20 EFTS (7 December 1941 to 28 February 1942) and No.6 SFTS (1 March to 4 July 1942. Retained in Canada for home defence duties (No.130 Squadron).  Arrived in UK, 1 July 1943.  No.401 Squadron, 9 July 1943 to 17 September 1944 and again from 3 January to 22 May 1945; Killed in flying accident, 22 May 1945. Aerial victories as follows: 7 March 1944, one FW.190 destroyed; 7 June 1944, one FW.190 destroyed; 28 June 1944, two FW.190s destroyed; 2 July 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed east of Caen; 13 July 1944, one FW.190 destroyed southeast of Caen; 17 July 1944, one Do.217 destroyed, northwest of Caen; 31 July 1944, one FW.190 destroyed, Domfort; 12 January 1945, one Ar.234 damaged plus one Ar.234 damaged with eleven others, Osnabruck; 1 March 1945, one FW.190 destroyed, Dorsten plus two Bf.109s destroyed; 19 April 1945, one FW.190 destroyed, Hagenow;  20 April 1945, two FW.190s destroyed plus one Bf.109 destroyed plus one Bf.109 destroyed with another pilot; 1 May 1945, one FW.190 damaged; 3 May 1945, one Ju.52 destroyed on the ground plus one He.111 destroyed on the ground.  
Citation for bar:
KLERSY, F/L William Thomas, DFC (J12199) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.401 Squadron - Award effective 1 December 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 239/45 dated 9 February 1945.
 
This officer is a keen and courageous fighter.  He has completed a large number of sorties and his successes include the destruction of seven enemy aircraft and many mechanical vehicles.  His example of determination and devotion to duty has been of a high order.
  • Medal– Distinguished Service Order
Citation:
KLERSY, S/L William Thomas, DFC (J12199) - Distinguished Service Order - No.401 Squadron (deceased) - Award effective 20 June 1945 as per London Gazette dated 29 June 1945 and AFRO 1453/45 dated 14 September 1945.
 
Throughout two tours Squadron Leader Klersy has displayed outstanding leadership, courage and devotion to duty.  Since the award of a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross he has destroyed or damaged a further ninety enemy vehicles, eight locomotives and eight good trucks.  He has also destroyed three more enemy aircraft bringing his total to at least ten enemy aircraft destroyed.  This officer has moulded his squadron into a powerful operational unit that by maintaining a consistently high standard in every phase of ground or air activity has set a magnificent example to the rest of the wing.
  • Biography– From the research work done by Margaret Rose Gaunt and submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of WILLIAM THOMAS KLERSY– From the research work done by Margaret Rose Gaunt and submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Grave Marker

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