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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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Fighter Command Crest
18.06.1942 No. 58 O.T.U. Spitfire IIb P8644 P/O. Butler

Operation: Training

Date: 18th June 1942 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 58 Operational Training Unit

Type: Spitfire IIb

Serial: P8644

Base: RAF Grangemouth, Scotland.

Location: Bogside, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

Pilot: P/O. William Manley Butler J/10151 RCAF Age 21. Killed


During a training exercise P/O. Butler took avoiding action against a possible collision. During the manoeuvre he dived steeply and as he tried to level out a wing became detached, P8644 crashed at Bogside, Clackmannanshire and burnt out.

Earned his wings at the No. 2 Service Flying Training School at Uplands, Ontario Canada on course number 41 October 25th, 1941 - January 16th, 1942, prior to joining 58 OTU for final conversion training on the Spitfire.

Course 22A 58 OTU, Grangemouth, Scotland. Front row: P/O Smith K.J., P/O. Draper G.C., Fl/Lt. McCarthy-Jones C.C., P/O. Draper J.W.P., P/O. Hawkins J.B., P/O. Dunn P.H.

Centre Row: P/O. King R.L.(1), P/O. Stevenson A.G., P/O. Winchester A.G., P/O. Ernst J.D.(2), P/O. Glenwright G.E.(3), P/O. Spretzel J.R.

Rear Row: F/O. Strozak R.P.(4), P/O. Ellington P.M.A. P/O. Holmes H.C.H. P/O. Butler W.M., P/O. Falls T.M.(5), P/O. Peppler G.E., P/O. Chandler R.J., P/O. Podobinski S.(6) - see notes below.

Note: Spitfire P8644 was built at the Castle Bromwich aircraft factory and fitted with the Merlin XII engine.

Burial Details:

P/O. William Manley Butler. Grangemouth Cemetery. Sec 1. Grave 26. Son of William Alexander Butler and Lola Butler, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Also commemorated in the family grave at Park Lawn Cemetery, Toronto, Canada.

His grave reads: 'A Well Beloved And Only Son, His Spirit is in Canada - His Soul With God.'

Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for information, the Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old'.

Notes on photograph: (1) Further research continues but we think this is F/O. Richard Lander King RAFVR of 122 Squadron, killed on the 2nd December 1942, (2) Fairly sure that this is P/O. Jack Douglas Ernst RCAF of 276 Squadron killed on 24th August 1942, (3) This could be F/O. George Edward Glenwright RCAF of 152 Squadron, killed 28th December 1942, (4) F/O. Strozak PAF killed on the 20th November 1942 whilst serving with 65 Squadron, (5) Fairly sure that this is F/O. Tom Montgue Falls RCAF killed on 17th January 1943 whilst with 111 Squadron, (6) P/O. Podobinski PAF killed on the 12th December 1943 serving with 303 Squadron. Research continues....but if you are able to add further information we would be pleased to hear from you.

RW 23.02.2017 - News cutting from Globe and Mail added

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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