LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Vernon James PITHER

Service No: 408512
Born: Shepparton VIC, 4 August 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 April 1941
Unit: No. 7 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 7 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft DV772), Northern Ireland, 21 July 1942, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Drumachose (Christchurch) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Luke and Rosanna Amelia Pither, of Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 21 July 1942, Wellington DV772 took off on a non-operational day training flight of circuits and landings and low level flying in the low flying area over the sea. The aircraft crashed at 1610 hours some 200 yards north east of the Hotel Giants, Causeway, Antrim, and the crew of two was killed. The aircraft was seen to fly inland over the Giants Causeway towards Bushmill and then turn outwards towards the sea. The aircraft crashed near Giants Causeway hotel just before the Clifton. Low cloud to 100/700 feet prevailed. Horizontal visibility was 15/20 miles. The Pilots were acting against orders flying inland. The cause of the accident was obscure, but it was considered to be probably an error of judgement on the Pilot’s part.

The crew members of DV772 were:

Sergeant Vernon James Pither (408512) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer Wilson Twentyman (413913) (RNZAF) (Pilot)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/151/94