|Pilot Sgt Thomas Ian Butterfield, RAAF 416205 (KIA, BR) Ashfield, NSW
Navigator Sgt James Rupert Wilson, RAAF 40196 (KIA, BR) Brighton, VIC
Crashed October 12, 1942
Built by Bristol in the United Kingdom (UK). Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number T5097. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia.
During August 1942, delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). On September 20, 1943 assigned to No. 30 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On October 12, 1942 one of nine Beaufighters from 30 Squadron that took off from Wards Drome (5 Mile) near Port Moresby on a mission against Lae. The attack was to be co-ordinated with B-25 Mitchells from the 90th Bombardment Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group and escorted by Airacobras from the 35th Fighter Group.
Inbound to the target near near Kokoda, this aircraft attempted to climb over the hills. Apparently, this Beaufighter stalled in making the climb, for it was observed to crash into trees and burn for approximately seven to eight minutes by other aircraft in the flight.
Afterwards, the crash site was located and the remains of the crew were recovered.
Both crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are buried at the Bomana War Cemetery. Butterfield at C7.A.5, Wilson at C7.F.8.
Sgt Butterfield's RAAF Casualty/Repatriation File (NAA: A705, 163/94/298)
30 Squadron Operations Record Book (ORB) (NAA: A9186, 59)
CWGC - Thomas Ian Butterfield
James Rupert Wilson
ADF Serials - Beaufighter A19-68
RAAFDB - Beaufighter A19-68
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile
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February 4, 2018