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The Airmen's Stories - P/O H W Cottam


Hubert Weatherby Cottam was born on 23rd August 1919 in Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland. He was employed in March 1937 by the Northern Assurance Company Ltd in their Newcastle branch.

He joined 607 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force before the war as an Aircrafthand.

He remustered as an Airman u/t Pilot about April 1939, when the opportunity for pilot training was first extended to non-commissioned members of the Auxiliary Air Force.

Called up on 24th August 1939, Cottam completed his training, was commissioned in March 1940 and arrived at 6 OTU on 18th May. He converted to Hurricanes and was posted to 213 Squadron at Exeter on the 25th.



Photo courtesy Northern Eagles website



On 12th and 15th August Cottam claimed Me110s destroyed. On 18th August his Hurricane P2766 was damaged off the Needles, Isle of Wight and he returned with a shrapnel wound in his left calf.

He was killed on 5th December 1941, whilst serving as a flying instructor at 22 SFTS in Southern Rhodesia.

Oxford I T1118 flew into the ground near Whites Run while on a low flying exercise. Sgt. IL Falconer was also killed.

Cottam was 22 and he is buried in Bulawayo Cemetery, Zimbabwe.




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