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Henry Cumberland Stapleton Cotton

Portrait, Weekly News, awarded the DFM - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News, awarded the DFM - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Henry Cumberland Stapleton AWMM
  • Surname
    Cotton AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Filo Cotton AWMM
  • Service number
    • NZ401202 AWMM
    • WWII 401202 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    15 June 1920 AWMM ApiaWestern Samoa AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Air Force AWMM
  • Service number
    • NZ401202 AWMM
    • WWII 401202 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) AWMM
    Henry Cotton was awarded the DFM on 18 September 1941. Citation: 'This airman has consistently displayed good work as wireless operator/air gunner. Since January 1941 he has participated in operations over enemy and enemy occupied territory, including one flight to Turin, which was his first operational venture and occupied 10 flying hours.' AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 7 May 1940 AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Pilot Officer Cotton joined 75 Squadron (a New Zealand squadron attached to the Royal Air Force) for his first tour on 20 December 1940. His targets included Wilhelmshaven, Hanover, Cologne, Berlin, Kiel, Bremen, Mannheim, Dusseldorf, Essen, Munster, Boulogne, Brest, Dunkirk and Turin. He served his 'rest' tour with No. 18 Operational Training Unit from August 1941 joining 159 Squadron in June 1942. With this squadron his targets included Benghazi, Tobruk and enemy transport concentrations and shipping. At the time of his death he was flying with 159 Squadron (Royal Air Force) on his 42nd operational sortie.

    According to his first cousin's husband:'Shortly after Filo's death, his mother (deceased 13 May 1975) had what jewellery she owned melted down and incorporated in a remembrance wall plaque mounted in St Aidan's Church, Remuera, as well as funding the making and hanging of an everlasting remembrance lamp in that Church. A few years back the wall plaque was stolen.

    Mrs Cotton visited the UK in about 1947 and had hoped to visit Haifa as a side trip, but because of entry problems or inability to arrange travel, she was unable to.'

    Auckland War Memorial Museum displays Cotton's medals and memorial cross in the diplay 'Scars of War' of 'Scars on the Heart'. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    19 July 1942 AWMM
    Age 22 AWMM
    CaesareaPalestine AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Khayat Beach War Cemetery, Haifa, Israel AWMM A.F. 14 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Meadowbank School World War 2 Memorial, Waiatarua Road, Remuera, Auckland AWMM
    • St. Aidans Church, 5 Ascot Avenue, Remuera, Auckland 1050 AWMM
    • St. Aidans Church, 5 Ascot Avenue, Remuera, Auckland 1050 AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
    Sources Used
  • References
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • Cowan, Erica. Meadowbank School WW II memorial: biographies. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-94/27 AWMM
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
06 October 2015Robert EdwardTurramurra NSW AustraliaSibling

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