BUTCHER Raymond Edward 406638

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Raymond Edward Norton BUTCHER

Service No: 406638
Born: Katanning WA, 25 October 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 March 1941
Unit: No. 101 Squadron (RAF), RAF Stradishall, Suffolk
Died: Air Operations: (No. 101 Squadron Wellington aircraft X3815), Denmark, 21 September 1942, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edward William Timperley Butcher and Muriel Leura Butcher, of Armadale, Western Australia
Roll of Honour: Armadale WA
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the night of 21/22nd September 1942, Wellington X3815 took off from RAF Stradishall, detailed to carry out a gardening (mining) operation.  Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base.  The aircraft was attacked by a night fighter at 4,000 feet before reaching the target area and crashed.  Three of the crew were killed and Pilot Officer Mitchell and Sergeant Otter became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of X3815 were:

Flying Officer Raymond Edward Norton Butcher (406638) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer C H Mitchell (J/9768) (RCAF) (Observer) PoW
Sergeant G L Otter (402493) (RNZAF) (Bomb Aimer) PoW
Squadron Leader Victor Robertson Paterson DFC (37478) (RAF) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Edwin John Rowe (648115) (RAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)

Pilot Officer Mitchell later reported “the aircraft was raked from the rear to the front in a sudden attack by the enemy on the night of 21st September. Butcher’s position in the aircraft would have made him particularly vulnerable to the enemy fire at the time of the attack.  The plane was washed ashore near Arnum, Denmark.”

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, 163/24/314