[Daily article] May 17: William Brill (RAAF officer)

William Brill (17 May 1916 – 12 October 1964) was a senior officer
and bomber pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Born in the
Riverina district of New South Wales, he was a farmer before joining the
RAAF in 1940. Posted to Britain to take part in the air war over Europe,
Brill first saw combat with No. 460 Squadron RAAF, flying Vickers
Wellingtons. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in 1942
for attacking a target after his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. In
1944 he became a flight commander in No. 463 Squadron RAAF, flying Avro
Lancasters. Brill’s leadership and determination to complete his
missions despite damage to his aircraft—on one occasion inflicted by
another Lancaster’s bombs—earned him the Distinguished Service Order.
Promoted to wing commander, he took over No. 467 Squadron RAAF and was
awarded a bar to his DFC for his skill in evading night fighters.
Returning to Australia after the war, he led No. 10 Squadron, commanded
air bases, and was twice RAAF Director of Personnel Services, gaining
promotion to group captain. He was serving at the Department of Air when
he died of a heart attack in 1964.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


The Société Notre-Dame de Montréal founded a permanent
mission known as Ville-Marie, which eventually grew into the city of


Rosalía de Castro published Cantares gallegos, a collection of
her poetry, the first book in the Galician language.


The Antikythera mechanism, the oldest known surviving geared
mechanism, was discovered among artifacts retrieved from a shipwreck off
the Greek island of Antikythera.


The US Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case Brown v. Board
of Education, outlawing racial segregation in public schools because
“separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”.


Dalia Grybauskaitė was elected the first female President of
Lithuania, receiving 68.18% of the vote.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. (transitive) To affix with cement.
2. (transitive) To overlay or coat with cement.
3. (transitive, figuratively) To unite firmly or closely.
4. (figuratively) To make permanent.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Who shall compose the Bible of human desire, the terrible and
simple Bible of that which drives us from life to life, the Bible of our
doings, our goings, our original fall? Who will dare to tell everything,
who will have the genius to see everything? I believe in a lofty form of
poetry, in the work in which beauty will be mingled with beliefs. The
more incapable of it I feel myself, the more I believe it to be
possible. The sad splendour with which certain memories of mine
overwhelm me, shows me that it is possible. Sometimes I myself have been
sublime, I myself have been a masterpiece. Sometimes my visions have
been mingled with a thrill of evidence so strong and so creative that
the whole room has quivered with it like a forest, and there have been
moments, in truth, when the silence cried out.  
–Henri Barbusse

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