668th BS Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Capt. William ("Bat") Battersby

Pilot,  O-411681

Died in the Line of Duty - May 9, 1944

668th Bombardment Squadron (L)


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Pilot Wings        Missing Man

      Born: 19-Apr-1914, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Entered Military Service: Date: 7-Sep-1940 At: Manchester, NH From: Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
NARA Enlistment Record: Enlisted Serial # 11014588

Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Section 12 Site 3472

On-line Memorials:
National World War II Registry

Captain Battersby was Operations Officer of the 668th and flew on the mission of 9 May 1944 to the Aershot Marshalling Yard in Belgium. Upon returning from the mission, he took a newly arrived A-20 up for a test flight. The plane, without warning, crashed and exploded on landing at Wethersfield killing Capt. Battersby and PFC Charles W. Coleman, a parachute rigger who had gone up with him for the test. Captain Battersby was described by his fellow airmen as "A proud parent, a superb pilot and an excellent officer."

Crashed on test flight. Cause of accident: Undetermined.

Unfortunately, not all men are lost on the fields of battle. Many are lost doing routine things far behind the lines. On the ninth, Captain William Battersby, a veteran of submarine warfare in the Anti-Submarine Command, and holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal, crashed to his death while test-hopping a plane in the vicinity of this Base. He had been one of the main-stays of our offensive, often being chosen to lead a box of planes. With him was Private First Class Charles W. Coleman, a parachute rigger. The accident happened so suddenly that neither man had a chance to bail out. Their bodies rest in the Cambridge American Military Cemetery, Cambridge, England.
(416th BG History 1944)

See also AAR 44-5-9-519

Photos and Documents
Birth Index
1930 US Census
1940 US Census
Crash Photo
Interment Control Form
Interment Control Form
Headstone of Denise Battersby, Wife of William
WW II Army and Army Air Force Casualty List
National World War II Memorial Registry

Source information can be viewed at WWII Military Service Fatalities Sources

"Goin' Home" courtesy of the U.S. Air Force Band