Sergeant William Gilbert BOTHE

Service No: 14227
Born: Campsie NSW, 9 November 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 March 1940
Unit: No. 55 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Usworth, Durham
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 55 Operational Training Unit Master aircraft N 8076), Durham, 30 December 1941, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Hylton (Castletown) Cemetery, Durham
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Emeline Bothe, husband of Winifred Veronica Bothe, of Lakemba, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Lakemba NSW
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 30th December 1941, Master T8567 took off at 1430 hours and Master N8076 at 1505 hours from RAF Usworth. Instructions were given to both Pilots by Flight Sergeant Goode to land at home base after half an hour’s flying and exchange seats, with one occupant to act as safety Pilot while the other was under the hood. Special attention was drawn to the prevailing weather. Both aircraft collided at 1550 hours, and crashed into the gardens of two different houses, and all on board being killed.

The crew members of N8076 were:

Sergeant William Gilbert Bothe (14227) (Pilot)
Sergeant Peter Morphett Piggott (407454) (Pilot)

The crew members of T8567 were:

Pilot Officer Arthur Raymond Kirby (J/8814) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Leonard Douglas Wright (407758) (Pilot)

A Flying Accident Report later stated: “The cause of the accident was due to the fact that the Pilot or Pilots failed to maintain sufficient look out while flying in the vicinity of the aerodrome.


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, 163/93/385

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