Sergeant Barton Irving COUTIE

Service No: 405543
Born: Melbourne VIC, 20 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1941 (at Brisbane QLD)
Unit: No. 24 Squadron, operating from Port Moresby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 24 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-126), Gasmata, New Guinea, 11 February 1942, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Barton Montgomerie Coutie and Edith Annie Coutie, of Malvern, Victoria.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 36, Rabaul Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 11th three Hudsons led by Wing Commander John Margrave Lerew (73) (Commanding Officer No. 24 Squadron, flying in A16-91), with Flight Lieutenant William Pedrina (264) and Flying Officer Gibson (A16-126) piloting the others, again attacked Gasmata and made the first mast-height attack on enemy shipping in the New Guinea campaign. One of the crews put four bombs across one transport directly amidships, another made a direct hit amidships on a second transport, while the third aircraft made a low-level sweep over the first transport using incendiary ammunition which set the ship on fire. Both ships were enveloped in clouds of black smoke. As the Hudsons climbed away they were intercepted by five or six enemy fighters. Pedrina’s aircraft was attacked several times. His gunners shot down one of the aircraft in flames and probably destroyed another. The crew saw Gibson’s aircraft, with one engine on fire and enemy fighters pursuing it, dive steeply into a hillside. Gibson and his crew—Pilot Officer Thorn and Sergeants Quail and Coutie—were all killed.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 450

The crew members of A16-126 were:

Sergeant Barton Irving Coutie (405543) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Graham Ian Gibson (290657) (Pilot)
Sergeant Arthur Edward Quail (404748) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Leslie Oliver Thorn (401471) (Second Pilot)

No. 24 Squadron lost Hudson A16-91 (Sergeant Raymond Cherrington Henry (416181) (Wireless Air Gunner)) on 11 February 1942.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
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, 163/98/440


Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992