Flight Sergeant Henry Marinus ATHERTON

Service No: 414123
Born: Cairns QLD, 31 July 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 August 1941
Unit: No. 55 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 55 Operational Training Unit Hurricane aircraft AG264), England, 23 April 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Haverigg (St Luke) Churchyard, Cumberland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest Albert and Honoria Christina Atherton, of Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Cairns QLD
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

During a non-operational day formation flying practice on the 23 April 1943, Hurricanes AG264 and AG275 crashed at 1200 hours at Coniston, Cumbria and both Pilots were killed.

The Pilots were:

Flight Sergeant Henry Marinus Atherton (414123) (Pilot) (Hurricane AG264)
Flight Sergeant Leonard Thomas Cook (412399) (Pilot) (Hurricane AG275)

A Flying Accident Report stated: “the Pilot having completed an hours formation flying with an Instructor, was broken off with another Pupil (Flight Sergeant Atherton in Hurricane AG264) over Maryport in the low flying area, and both were ordered over the radio to carry out low flying and direction find homing singly, not in pairs, and to watch the weather and stay local. The two pilots then flew off in a southerly direction and later crashed into a hill. Prior to this flight, Flight Sergeant Cook and his companion (Flight Sergeant Atherton) were heard by other Pupils discussing the prospects of going to Blackpool. They went aware of their position when broken away by the Instructor. The crash was only a few miles east of track between Maryport and Blackpool. Gross disobedience of orders and lack of experience were the causes of this accident.”


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/4/29

Book Now Book Now