Historical information

William Ellis NEWTON VC enlisted in the RAAF no 250748 on 5.2.1940 age 20 years 8 months. Serving with No 22Sqd RAAF flying Boston Bombers he arrived in New Guinea in May 1942. Along the way he was promoted to Pilot Officer, Flying Officer and then Flight Lieutenant. On the 18.3 1943 during a low level attack on Japanese positions around Salamaua he hit his target but his plane was hit several times by flack and burst into flames but he landed it in the sea. Sgt B.G Eastwood No 13055 a crew member went down with the aircraft. Newton and Flt Sgt J Lyon No 401706 swam to shore but were captured by the Japanese. Newton was taken to Lae for interrogation and then returned to Salamaua and was executed by decapitation and his body thrown in bomb crater on 29.3.1943. His body was later recovered in late 1943 when Australian troops captured Salamaua. Lyons was executed at Lae by bayoneting in the back.
The award to Newton of the Victoria Cross was for low level attacks in the Salamaua area which inflicted heavy losses on Japanese installations one of which his plane was hit by flak heavily and he successfully flew it back some 180 miles and landed. The award also included the attack for which he was executed.
Newtons and war crimes records are some 800 plus pages with photos, statements etc.
Refer also Cat No 3456.

Physical description

Black & white photo, head & shoulders portrait of F/LT W. E. NEWTON V.C. He is wearing a peaked cap, collar & tie with RAAF wings badge on L side of jacket. In a green / gold wooden frame with glass front. Fawn paper backing. Gold plaque in middle beneath photo.

Inscriptions & markings

Engraved on plaque: “F/LT W. E. NEWTON V.C. 22 Squadron RAAF”