Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

January 10, 2003

Henry Botterell, 106, believed to be the last surviving World War I combat pilot, died Friday in a Toronto nursing home. He was one of the estimated 15 remaining Canadian veterans of World War I.

A bank employee who joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916, Mr. Botterell was injured when engine failure on his second takeoff in France caused a crash.

He received a medical discharge, but re-enlisted before he was returned to Canada. By May 1918, he was in Serny, France, flying a Sopwith Camel.

By war's end on Nov. 11, 1918, he had downed two German planes and several observation balloons.

Most memorably, on Aug. 29, 1918, he dropped his four 25-pound bombs on a railway station and then headed back toward a balloon he had spotted aloft. He fired 400 machine-gun rounds into the sphere, igniting it as its operator parachuted out. The episode was captured by aviation artist Robert Taylor in his painting Balloon Buster.

Kenneth Beeson, 78, a former mayor of St. Augustine, Fla., and founder of a cultural society for the study of a group of early Florida settlers, died there Jan. 3 after a long illness.

Mr. Beeson was a descendent of the Minorcan settlers, a group of about 1,400 from Greece, Italy and the Mediterranean island of Minorca who traveled to what now is New Smyrna Beach in 1768 to work on an indigo plantation. The plantation failed, and in 1777 the Minorcans moved to St. Augustine.

As mayor from 1985 to 1991, Mr. Beeson worked on saving historical areas in the nation's oldest city from redevelopment.

Ron Goodwin, 77, who composed a string of classic movie scores including Where Eagles Dare, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, died unexpectedly Wednesday at his home in Brimpton Common, in Berkshire, England. He had suffered from asthma for many years.

Although he composed some 60 film scores in his 50-year career, he was best known for the themes to a string of 1960s war films, including Battle of Britain and Operation Crossbow.

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