HM Destroyer Onslow was close to the Geman-occupied French coast on August twelfth, 1944, patrolling with two other destroyers, the HMS Diadem and the Polish Piorun. The previous day a Luftwaffe bomber had used a new weapon on the ship - a radio-controlled gliding bomb, though the bomb missed the ship comfortably. The crew were very much on the alert at 4am on the 12th when an aeroplane appeared on radar - on course for them and not transmitting any IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) signals. It was gliding silently in the darkness and just before reaching the ships the plane opened up its engines.
The four-engined aeroplane dropped bombs which missed the Onslow. The Onslow's gunners, however, did not miss the bomber, which hit the sea and expoded. The bomber was a Liberator of 224 Squadron, RAF, which had detected the ships on its own radar on a submarine-hunting patrol. By that stage of the war, the only way for German submarines to return to base from the Atlantic was to cross the Bay of Biscay at night.
William Andrews was second pilot on board the Liberator. There were no survivors. His remains lie in the wreck of the aeroplane, off the coast near La Rochelle, with the rest of his crew.