AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
World War II Honor Roll

William Wallace Cotter

First Lieutenant,
U.S. Army Air Force

0-796663

359th Fighter Squadron
356th Fighter Group

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: February 26, 1944
Buried at: 
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters

FIRST LIEUTENANT WILLIAM W. COTTER was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Alberta Cotter. Born in New Jersey, his parents had  moved to Laurel Springs NJ from Pennsylvania by 1918, and in 1930 owned a home at 531 Walnut Street. His father worked as a telephone repairman. 

William Wallace Cotter, known to friends and family as Wally, had two older sisters, Virginia and Margaret. He graduated from Haddon Heights (NJ) High Schools, and had worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard before entering the Army in April of 1942. He qualified for flight duty, and was commissioned at Napier Field AL on January 15, 1943, and went overseas later that year as a member of the 359th Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group. He was later promoted to First Lieutenant. He flew a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter in combat.

In January of 1944, the Camden Courier-Post reported that Lieutenant Cotter had been awarded the Air Medal for completing 10 combat missions. Lieutenant Cotter went on to complete over 50 missions, flying P-47D Thunderbolt fighters.

William Wallace Cotter was killed when the P-47D he flew, nicknamed "The Falcon", crash landed at Martlesham Heath, England, on February 26, 1944. 

On April 15, 1944 an official War Department release stated that First Lieutenant William Wallace Cotter had been posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. 

William Cotter was survived by his parents, of the Walnut Avenue address.


COURIER-POST, CAMDEN, N.J., FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 1943 

At Napier Field AL, Air Force training school, commissions have been won by William W. Cotter of 531 Walnut Avenue, Laurel Springs, and Meredith W. Henry of 132 Brentwood Avenue, Pitman NJ
            Lieutenant Cotter, a graduate of Haddon Heights High School, was employed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard until he entered the service as an aviation cadet last April.


This photo is of Kesgrave Hall where the officers in the 359th FS lived.  It was located about 1 mile from the airfield at Martlesham Heath

Click on Image to Enlarge

359th
Fighter
Squadron Bar

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Camden Courier-Post
January 4, 1944


The Falcon
and her crew
at

Martlesham Heath

Left to Right:
 Staff Sgt. Francis H "Mac" McGillvray
Lt. William W. Cotter
 Corporal Herman S. Spencer
Staff Sergeant Robert M. Conrad

Click on Image to Enlarge



Camden Courier-Post
January 4, 1944


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