Butler, Second Lieutenant Howard Richmond Henry

No 1 School of Air Fighting and Gunnery, RAF

Howard Butler came from Melbourne, and was a 19 year old Architect living in Toorak when he enlisted in the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade at Melbourne on 15 June 1916. He departed from Melbourne on HMAT A11 Ascarius on 11 May 1917. Unfortunately, Gnr Butler became ill on the voyage, and was sent straight to hospital on arrival in the UK. After recovery, he transferred to the AFC in October, and underwent training at the School of Military Aeronautics at Reading before being commissioned in April 1918 before further training with No 5 Training Sqn AFC. He was posted to the RAF’s No 1 School of Air Fighting and Gunnery at Turnberry, Scotland, on 21 May.

He was killed in an aircraft accident at Turnberry on 2 June 1918 when flying Sopwith Camel B9262; the aeroplane took off as part of a formation of four Camels. A witness saw Lt Butler make a slow left turn, followed by a zoom, after which B9262 stalled and spun into the ground during a turn some 200 feet from the ground. An enquiry concluded that a turn was made at the top of the zoom, and the Camel was too close to the ground.

2Lt H R H Butler is buried in Grave M10 at Girvan (Doune) Cemetery, Ayrshire, Scotland.

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