Walter Dinnathorne LANGWORTHY DFC


LANGWORTHY, Walter Dinnathorne

Service Number: 408157
Enlisted: 31 January 1941
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: No. 97 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 21 February 1913
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Hobart State High & University of Tasmania, Australia
Occupation: Teacher
Died: Accidental - Aircraft crash, Langstone Court, Llangarron, Herefordshire, England, United Kingdom, 7 January 1944, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery
Plot 39, Section 4, Grave 253, Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, International Bomber Command Centre Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Flying Officer, SN 408157
31 Jan 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, SN 408157
31 Jan 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 408157
14 May 1943: Honoured Distinguished Flying Cross
7 Jan 1944: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, SN 408157, No. 97 Squadron (RAF)

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Walter Dinnathorne LANGWORTHY was born in Hobart, Tasmania on 21st February, 1913

His parents were Leslie William Saul LANGWORTHY & Emma Jane BERRY

He married Elsie Marion WRIGHT in Devonport, Tasmania on 5th October, 1935 - two children Robert & Janice

He enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force on 31st January, 1941

Walter died in an air accident along with his Pilot , Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Frank JOLLY on 7th January, 1944 at Langstone Court, Llangarron, Herefordshire, England - they had set out from the RAF Station in Markham & detailed to carry out a non operational day training flight

The aircraft was a Mosquito Mk IV  DZ356 from the 16th Operational Training Unit (RAF)

He is buried in the Haycombe Cemetery in Bath, Somerset

Honours & Awards

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on 14th May, 1943 when serving with the 97 Squadron of the RAF

The Citation reads:

"As Navigator, Pilot Officer Langworthy has completed many successful sorties against very heavily defended targets in Germany & Italy

One one occasion he had a narrow escape when his seat in the aircraft was riddled with bullets.  The aircraft was badly damaged and three members of the crew were wounded

With great coolness, Pilot Officer Langworthy not only navigated the badly disabled aircraft back to this country, but also rendered effective aid to the wounded

His courage & skill have always been beyond praise"

(London Gazette 14th May, 1943, page 2156)


Eyewitness Account of the accident

DK356 was flying followed by a second aircraft at a considerable height.  There was an explosion from the leading aircraft which resulted in fire and disintegration of the aircraft

Flight Lieutenant Jolly was blown out of the aircraft without his chute which came down and opened out separately

The observer used his chute although injured but the canopy was torn and he died soon after the impact

The wreckage was spread over a four mile area with the main body of the aircraft being burnt out completely

Both engines broke away from their mountings while the aircraft was in mid air.  There was ample evidence that the reported fire in the air originated in one of the engines