William Sidebottom (RAF officer)
11 October 1893|
|Died||8 December 1920
near Rostamabad, Persia
|Commemorated at||Tehran Memorial, Iran|
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1917–1920|
|Unit||No. 3 (Naval) Squadron RNAS
No. 203 Squadron RAF
No. 30 Squadron RAF
|Battles/wars||World War I
• Western Front
|Awards||Distinguished Flying Cross|
Sidebottom joined the Royal Naval Air Service on 11 October 1917, and after completing his flying training was posted the No. 3 (Naval) Squadron to fly the Sopwith Camel single-seat fighter. On 1 April 1918, the RNAS was merged with the Army's Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force, and Sidebottom's unit was renamed No. 203 Squadron RAF.
He scored his first win on 16 June 1918, sharing the destruction of a DFW two-seater reconnaissance aircraft with Lieutenant Edwin Hayne and three other pilots. He then accumulated a series of victories between then and 29 October 1918, sharing in the destruction of two reconnaissance aircraft with Captain Leonard Henry Rochford and the mid-air burning of another with Captain Arthur Whealy. Sidebottom's final toll was the destruction of seven enemy aircraft, with five of those shared; seven driven down out of control, including two shared.
Post-war career and death
- Lieutenant William Sidebottom, 203rd Squadron.
- "This officer has carried out numerous offensive and low bombing patrols with courage, skill and judgment. He has also proved himself a bold and resolute fighter in aerial combats, having nine enemy machines to his credit."
However, Sidebottom returned to RAF service on being granted a short service commission with the rank of flying officer on 24 October 1919. On 8 December 1920 Sidebottom was serving in No. 30 Squadron, part of the North Persia Force. While flying an Airco DH.9A on a bombing mission on Enzeli, then part of the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic, he made a forced landing 15 miles (24 km) from Rostamabad, and was shot and killed by Bolsheviks while trying to escape. His observer escaped unhurt. Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Tehran Memorial, Gholhak Garden, Iran.
- "William Sidebottom". The Aerodrome. 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- Shores, Franks & Guest (1990), p. 338.
- "No. 31624". The London Gazette. 31 October 1919. p. 13275.
- "No. 31170". The London Gazette. 7 February 1919. p. 2046.
- "No. 31616". The London Gazette. 24 October 1919. pp. 13032–13034.
- "Sidebottom, William: Casualty Card". RAF Museum Storyvault. 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- Barrass, M. B. "RAF Casualties 1920 (K–Z)". Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- "Casualty Details: Sidebottom, William". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.