Woolhouse, Lieutenant Fred Smith

No 4 Sqn AFC

Frederick Woolhouse was born in Roebourne, Western Australia, on 21 February 1896, and was a Signwriter, and a Lieutenant in the Senior Cadets, when he joined the AIF in Perth on 6 October 1915. He was posted to the 11th Battalion at Blackboy Hill Camp before leaving from Fremantle on RMS Mongolia on 22 November. He was wounded in action by shrapnel in France in May 1916 and evacuated to England. After recovery, he transferred to the AFC and began pilot training, from which he graduated in September 1917, and was commissioned. Promotion to Lieutenant followed in December, when he flew to France to join No 71 (Australian) Sqn on the Western Front.

On 5 January 1918 he was flying Sopwith Camel B2482 (a presentation machine ‘Australia No 1, South Australia No 1, The Sidney Kidman’) when it crashed in landing. On 13 January he was injured when again flying B2482 when it overturned on landing at Doullens. He was flying Camel B5649 on 17 February when he was credited with a Rumpler crashed west of Lille at 14.45 after firing a hundred rounds into it. The Camel crashed on landing the next day. He was credited with a victory over an Albatros west of Douai on 8 March (The Official History has this shared with Capt D P Flockhart in B5625, while The Camel File omits Lt Woolhouse’s part in the action).

He was killed in action near Laventie on 10 April 1918 while flying Sopwith Camel B5649. He had shared credit for an enemy aeroplane before attacking an enemy transport column at about 50 feet, when his Camel was hit by ground fire and crashed.

Lt F S Woolhouse is buried in Grave 18 at Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, France.

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