Raymond Edward Norton Butcher

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Raymond Edward Norton Butcher
Butcher Raymond Edward N.jpg
in RAAF Uniform as Flight Sergeant
Butcher Raymond.jpg
in Militia uniform of Sergeant, 16th Battalion Cameron Highlanders.
Personal Information
Date of Birth 25 Oct 1917
Place of Birth Katanning, Western Australia
Death 21 Sep 1942
Place of Death Denmark
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 4 months
Description 5'5½ (1.66m) tall ; 140lbs
63.503 kg
; medium complexion ; hazel eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Accounts clerk
Religion Church of England
Address 'Buena Park', Bunbury road, Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr. Edward William Timperley Butcher
Military Information
Reg Number 406638
Date of Enlistment 3 Mar 1941 (26 Aug 1940)
Rank Flying Officer
Unit/Formation No. 101 Squadron RAF
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 13 Nov 1941
Transport Details unknown Sydney to San Francisco
Journey Dates 13 Dec 1941 ‒ 26 Dec 1941
Transport Details unknown Halifax, Canada to UK
Post War Details
Fate Killed during a flying battle over southern Denmark.
Monument(s) WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals 1939-45 Star
Aircrew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Pre enlistment history included 2½ years as an Insurance Clerk and 4 years as a salesman with Lynas Motors Ltd.

War Service

Ray originally enlisted in the CMF, and was posted to the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion (Cameron Highlanders Regiment) before being discharged in order to enlist in the RAAF on 3 Mar 1941.

Ray's time in the RAAF Reserve began at the No. 4 RAAF Recruiting Centre, mustered as an Aircraftman II, Aircrew. From 3 Mar to 3 Apr 1941 he attended the No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF at Pearce, being appointed as a Leading Aircraftman on 29 Mar 1941. 3 Mar - 3 Apr 1941. On 3 Apr 1941 he was posted to the No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School RAAF in Ballarat, Victoria. On 25 Aug 1941 his next posting was to the No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School RAAF at Port Pirie in South Australia. At the conclusion of his course, on 17 Oct 1941 he remustered as a Sergeant Air Gunner, and then three days later on 20 Oct 1941 was discharged in order to be Appointed as a Commissioned Officer (Pilot Officer Air Gunner).

Ray was sent back to Western Australia to undertake some pre-embarkation Leave from 19 - 25 Jun 1941, and on his return from leave he reported to the No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF Perth where he remained until 27 Oct 1941. In order to be shipped to the UK via Canada, Ray was next transferred to the No. 2 Embarkation Depot RAAF at Bradfield Park in Sydney, arriving on 10 Nov 1941, before embarking in Sydney on 13 Nov 1941. Ray's records don't tell us which ship he travelled on, but it was common for ships at that time to travel to San Franciso via Auckland, Suva, Pago Pago, and Honolulu. On arrival in San Franciso the Australian airmen were placed on a train for Vancouver in Canada where they changed to a train that over the next 5 days traversed the continent to Halifax on the east coast. There they boarded a ship for the UK, travelling in guarded convoys as they were in waters where U Boats were very active.

On arrival in the UK Ray was sent to the No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre RAF in Bournemouth from 26 Dec 1941 until 20 Feb 1942 . On 21 Feb 1942 Ray was transferred to the No. 7 Air Gunnery School RAF based then at RAF Stormy Down in southern Wales until 15 Apr 1942. Ray's next posting was to the No. 20 Operational Training Unit RAF from 16 Apr - 28 Jun 1942. During his stay he was promoted to Flying Officer on 20 Apr 1942. Training finally completed, Ray was posted to the No. 101 Squadron RAF on 29 Jun 1942. While with the 101st Squadron he was granted leave from 14 - 20 Sep 1942.

Butcher Raymond Edward N 2.jpg

On 22 Sep 1942 Raymond was declared to be missing from air operations over Europe. Later that day he was reported to be 'missing, believed killed' and in a Casualty Report dated 21 Mar 1943 he was listed as 'Presumed dead'. The location of the plane's crash was later discovered to be in the sea off the coast of Denmark.

  • Aabenraa Military Cemetery, Denmark
  • Ray Butcher's gravesite

Aabenraa is a town on the south-east Jutland coast about 25 kilometres north of the German border.


Raymond was a member of the crew of a Vickers Wellington bomber X3815 from No. 101 Squadron RAF that was lost during an operation on 21 Sep 1942. The plane crashed in Denmark following an attack by a German night fighter. At the time of his death the Squadron was operating from RAF Stradishall. By the end of the war in Europe, the squadron had sustained 1,176 aircrew killed and it had lost 146 aircraft (including 33 in accidents).

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