LEST WE FORGET
Pilot Officer Willie Everard NICHTERLEIN
Service No: 416104
Born: Hamilton VIC, 14 February 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 March 1941 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 452 Squadron, Strauss NT
Died: Air Operations (No. 452 Squadron Spitfire aircraft EE607), off Darwin, 20 June 1943, Aged 23 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of the Revd. Otto Sylvius Nichterlein and Marie Helene Nichterlein, of Glen Osmond, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Glen Osmond SA
Remembered: Panel 7, Northern Territory Memorial, Adelaide River NT
Remembered: Panel 105, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Pilot Officer Nichterlein is recorded twice on the SA Memorial – on Panel 7, Third Column and on Panel 8, Third Column.
Two Spitfire pilots (Pilot Officer Nichterlein (416104) and Pilot Officer Ruskin-Rowe (411389) were shot down and killed during the morning’s engagement, but the Spitfires had destroyed nine enemy bombers and five fighters as well as damaging another ten. For the RAAF this was the most successful encounter up to that time at Darwin. On this occasion, General MacArthur sent his congratulations for the victory which had restored confidence in the ability of the Spitfire squadrons.
Extract from Odgers, G. (George) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 60
Pilot Officer Nichterlein was shot down while attacking a formation of enemy bombers flying at high level off the coast near Darwin. Pilot Officer Nichterlein’s section leader was Flight Lieutenant Edward Smith Hall (403103) who was discharged from the RAAF on 3 November 1944.
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 A9845, 273