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|Pilot P/O Willie Everard
Nichterlein, 416104 (MIA / KIA) Osmond, SA
Crashed June 20, 1943
Built by Supermarine in the United Kingdom. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) as Spitfire Mark Vc serial number EE607. Disassembled and loaded aboard SS Sussex as cargo and shipped overseas to Australia arriving November 28, 1942.
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Spitfire Mark Vc serial number A58-107. On February 16, 1943 reassembled by 1 Air Depot (1 AD) and the next day transfered to 7 Air Depot (7 AD). On March 31, 1943 assigned No. 452 Squadron with coded QY-A. No known nickname or nose art.
On June 20, 1943 one of forty-six Spitfires from 1 Fighter Wing (1 FW), Troppo White Section, "B" flight that took off on a mission to intercept Japanese air raid number 55 against Darwin by Ki-48 Lilys escorted by A6M Zeros.
The enemy formation was intercepted at 24,000' roughly 10 miles north of north of Cape Hotham near Verden Island. After the Spitfire's initial attack, this aircraft was never seen again. Possibly, crashed into the sea. Officially written off June 28, 1943. During November 1943 administratively assigned RAAF serial number A58-2 (this serial number was never applied to the aircraft).
RAAF Searcher Brief states:
"Lost as a result of interception of enemy fighters at position 10 miles South West of Cape Gambier, Melville Island. Aircraft not seen after his section's initial attack and it is thought that it came down in the sea northwest of Adam Bay in Van Dieman Gulf".
Nichterlein was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at Adelaide River War Cemetery Northern Territory Memorial on panel 7.
ADF Serials - Spitfire A58-107
CWGC -Willie Everard Nichterlein
National Archives Australia "AMSE Approval to write off Spitfire A58-107" (NAA 9/16/899)
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information
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July 30, 2020
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