Sergeant 553258 Peter Joseph Butler

Wireless Operator/Air Gunner with 201 Squadron of the Royal Air Force.

Died due to an air accident on the 11th August 1941 aged 19 years.

201 Squadron, a Flying Boat Squadron, was attached to Coastal Command, based in Sullom Voe, Shetlands and the accident was recorded in the Shetland Second World War crash log as follows:

On 11th August 1941 a Sunderland 2, Registration W.3978 attached to 201 (Z) Squadron, took off at 19.06 hours on anti-submarine patrol and at 22.21 hours, due to worsening weather, it was coming in to land at night on the waters of Sullom Voe. Just as it was about to touch down the pilot switched on the flap light and was blinded by the green indicator lamp. Both pilots leaned forward to cover the lamp with their hands and the pilot inadvertently pushed the control column forward. The aircraft struck the water and sank although the crew were able to escape. However, five of the crew died in the cold waters before being picked up by the Marine Craft Section, including Sergeant Butler, with seven survivors. Those who died with him were named as:

Sgt. D J Owen buried in Bebington Cemetery, Cheshire

AC1 W M Kinnish buried in Everton Cemetery

Sgt. H J Parkes buried in St. Giles Cemetery, Willenhall

AC1 J W Cutchie buried locally in Lerwick

Son of Martin Joseph and Nellie Louisa Butler, brother to John, Patrick and Martin Butler. He is buried in a Commonwealth War Grave in Rothley Cemetery, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley.

His funeral was reported in the Loughborough Echo 29th August 1941:

The funeral of Sergt. Peter Joseph Butler, R.A.F., of Cross Lane, Rothley, aged 19, took place on Tuesday, the service at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Rothley, and at the graveside being taken by the Rev. Father Feevey.
The mourners were Mr. and Mrs. Martin Butler (parents), Mr. and Mrs. J. Butler (brother and sister-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. Pat Butler (brother and sister-in-law), Mrs. Miller (aunt), Miss Lilian Poole (fiancée), Miss Gwendoline Poole, Mr. Leon Alderwick. Miss Betty Martin at the organ played the Dead March. The bearers were six R.A.F. Sergeants and a wreath was sent by friends of the R.A.F.

Named on the War Memorial, Parish Church Triptych Roll of Honour and Parish Church Book of Remembrance.

Research into the death of Peter Butler revealed the following tragic story:

Commonwealth War Grave of Sergeant 553258 Peter Joseph Butler
Rothley Cemetery