Remembrance Driveway

Victoria Cross Citations

Newton
Photo: Australian War Memorial

William Ellis Newton VC

250748 Flight Lieutenant William Ellis NEWTON
No. 22 Squadron, R.A.A.F
16 March, 1943, on Salamaua Isthmus, New Guinea

Flight Lieutenant Newton served in New Guinea from May 1942 to March 1943 and completed 52 operational sorties. When leading an attack on 16 March, 1943 his Boston aircraft was hit repeatedly and although it was crippled he managed to return the aircraft to base and make a successful landing. He returned next day to the same location. His aircraft was again hit and it burst into flames.

"Flight Lieutenant Newton maintained control and calmly turned his aircraft away and flew along the shore. He saw it as his duty to keep the aircraft in the air and to take his crew as far away as possible from the enemy's positions. With great skill he brought his blazing aircraft down on the water." Two members of the crew extricated themselves and were seen swimming to shore. One of them was Flight Lieutenant Newton. He was captured and later executed on 29 March, 1943, at Salamaua, New Guinea. "Without regard to his own safety, he had done all that man could do to prevent his crew falling into enemy hands. Flight Lieutenant Newton's many examples of conspicuous bravery have rarely been equalled and will serve as a shining inspiration to all who follow him."

[London Gazette: 19 October, 1943]

William Ellis NEWTON was born at St. Kilda, Victoria on 8th June, 1919. His body was recovered when Salamaua was recaptured by Australian troops and he was buried in the Lae War Cemetery, New Guinea.