LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant John BUTTERWORTH

Service No: 408306
Born: New Norfolk TAS, 6 August 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 October 1941
Unit: No. 7 Squadron (RAF), RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 7 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JA653), Netherlands, 16 December 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles O’Neil Butterworth and Frances Eleanor Butterworth, of Tinderbox, via Pierson’s Point, Tasmania, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Hobart TAS
Remembered: Panel 192, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster JA653 took off from RAF Oakington at 1624 hours on the night of 16/17th December 1943 to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at 1805 hours on the 16th December 1943 on farmland owned by Mr Bangma at Follega (Friesland), 6 kms north north east of Lemmer, Netherlands, and all seven crew members were killed.

The crew members of JA653 were:

Flight Sergeant John Butterworth (408306) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Raymond Edgar Hedges (1800194) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant James Hurst (1817269) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Reginald McWha (414816) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Charles Lloyd Robinson (412270) (Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer William Maitland Waterman (415061) (Navigator)
Warrant Officer Wallace Arthur Watson (412327) (Pilot)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information Compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/6/361

© Copyright Highgate RSL. All rights reserved.