Sergeant Alexander James COTO

Service No: 408631
Born: Koroit VIC, 30 June 1909
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1941
Unit: No. 1 Operational Training Unit
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Operational Training Unit Beaufort Aircraft A9-85), near Bairnsdale VIC, 27 August 1942, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Sale Public Cemetery, Victoria
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Daniel Samuel and Ethel Louise Coto, husband of Mary Isobel Coto, of Heidelberg
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 27 August 1942 A9-85 and two other aircraft were engaged in formation flying practice near the Bairnsdale aerodrome. A9-85 occupied the centre position in echelon to starboard, and at 0210Z hours it and third aircraft in the formation (A9-88) collided in flight resulting in the crash of A9-85 and its total destruction by fire, killing all the crew members. A9-85 crashed 5 miles north-west of the aerodrome. A9-88 suffered bomb door and undercarriage damage and crash landed but the crew members were uninjured.

The crew members of A9-85 were:

Sergeant Allan William Baxter (409372) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Alexander James Coto (408631) (Pilot)
Sergeant Keith Goodfellow (409301) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Edwin Raymond McMullen (409431) (Wireless Air Gunner)

The crew members of A9-88 were:

Sergeant Robert Callender (409304) (Navigator) Discharged from the RAAF: date unavailable
Sergeant Sydney Alfred Pope (409317) (Wireless Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 6 December 1945
Flight Lieutenant Richard Alan Ridgway (Pilot) (551), Discharged from the RAAF: 12 November 1945
Sergeant Graham Warner Wilson (409358) (Wireless Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 1 November 1945


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/98/645; A9845, 176

Book Now Book Now