William Julius Henderson GOVE

GOVE, William Julius Henderson

Service Number: 401636
Enlisted: 31 March 1941
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: No. 2 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Toorak, Victoria, Australia, 22 April 1921
Home Town: Toorak, Stonnington, Victoria
Schooling: Geelong Grammar School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: University Student
Died: Accidental, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, 20 April 1943, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Adelaide River War Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Milingimbi War Memorial, No 2 Squadron RAAF Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

31 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 401636, Adelaide, South Australia
31 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, 401636
1 Apr 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 401636, Empire Air Training Scheme
1 Apr 1943: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, Royal Australian Air Force, No.2 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force.
20 Apr 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, 401636, No. 2 Squadron (RAAF)

Help us honour William Julius Henderson Gove's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Adrian Schmidt

Pilot Officer William Julius Henderson Gove, son of Squadron Leader R.V. Gove, had only been promoted from Flight Sergeant on 1 April 1943, three weeks before he died. The squadron was flying from Darwin to armed reconnaissance of Timoeka, Dutch New Guinea when it is thought that two planes may have accidently clipped each other as they took up flight formation, only four minutes into the flight. All lives were lost on both planes.

Men from Gove's Hudson were buried together on Rabuma Island on 26 April 1943 and later reburied at Adelaide River War Cemetery; the plaque on Pilot Officer Gove's grave has a shortened version of the text on this window. The Air Force elected to name a landing strip near Melville Bay in the north west after Pilot Officer Gove
to perpetuate his memory.


Biography contributed by David Barlow

Mid-air collision of RAAF Lockheed Hudson A16-197 & A16-183 of Number 2 Squadron shortly after take-off from Millingimbi airstrip, NT

Crew of A16-197 killed:

Flying Officer Jack Laws 412979 - Son of Frederick Joseph and Mabel Ethel Laws of Coolah, NSW

Pilot Officer Joseph Gipson Butler 408820 - Son of Benjamin Gipson Butler and Alice Josephine Butler of Tallangatta, Victoria

Pilot Officer William Julius Henderson Gove 401636 - Son of Robert Vivian and Vera Masden Drayton Gove & Husband of Patricia Walcott Gove of Toorak, Victoria

Flying Officer Keith Edmund Daniel 402852 - Son of Edmund Blair Wentworth Daniel and Ruby Annie Daniel & Husband of Ailsa Sutton Daniel of Wahroonga, NSW

Flight Sergeant Thomas William Wilson 408899 - Son of Thomas and Jean Hunter Wilson of Geelong West, Victoria

Crew of A16-183 killed:

Flying Officer Keith Rossly Mills 405637 - Son of Andrew Samuel and Laura Mills of Brisbane, Queensland

Pilot Officer Trevor William Bassan 411985 - Son of William Herbert and Catherine Bassan & Husband of Edna May Bassan of Rozelle, NSW

Sergeant Harold Herbert Keith Hadley 411904 - Son of Frederick Herbert and Ada Mary Hadley of Mona Vale, NSW

Pilot Officer John Loughman Barnes 404946 - Son of Harold Claude and Constance Charlotte Barnes & Husband of Nena Bryden Barnes of Mitchell, Queensland

Flying Officer Noel Edward John 409551 - Son of Edward and Grace John of Burwood, NSW