Wilmslow Cemetery – F/O Thomas Henry William Baker RAFVR 107286

THW Baker Wilmslow

On the 12th of August 1942 Wellington Mk.III X3646 crashed into the North Sea. Piloting the aircraft that night was George Edward Francis Bradey, who had earlier been severely wounded in the abdomen by flak, whilst attacking the target of Mainz with 8 other aircraft from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

The remaining details of the incident do not seem that clear. Of the crew of 6, 5 were killed. The only survivor being the Rear Gunner Sgt. J. E. London, who was captured and spent the remainder of the War as a Prisoner.

Of the remaing 5 airmen who were killed, Pilot Officer George Bradey, Squadron Leader Ronald Ernest Kimber, the Navigator, Flight Sergeant Arden Ivan Ellis, Wireless Operator and Front Gunner, Flight Sergeant Cyril Vincent Green have no known resting place and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Perhaps strangely in this case then, the body of 2nd Pilot Flying Officer Thomas Henry William Baker was recovered and now lays in Wilmslow Cemetery – the closest grave on the Roll of Honour to me.

It was the Bradey crew’s 10th Op with the Squadron and perhaps perversely, as is the case so many times, this was Tom Bakers first Op with the crew, having flown only 3 previously with Artie Ashworth’s crew as 2nd Pilot. Thomas had only been at Feltwell with the Squadron for 10 days.

25/06/1942 – Attack on Targets at Bremen
Twenty a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target. Results not observed. There was a large amount of A.A. fire searchlights were ineffective. A JU88 followed Well.III X3664 but did not attack. Weather was moderate with 10/10 cloud. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1570 AA-B

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alfred Sydney Drew, RNZAF NZ404560 – Observer.
Sgt. M. H. Hughes, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Donald Gordon, RNZAF NZ402995 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Bruce Rahu Philip, RNZAF NZ405517 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 04:55

02/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Twelve aircraft left base to carry out an attack on targets at Bremen. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts and fires were seen in target area. A.A. fire was poor and searchlights were scattered but numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was very clear over target. Navigation was very good by TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3538 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Chambers, RNZAF NZ403758 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:25 – Landed 02:05
Flight Time 01:40

08/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Wilhemshaven
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area and hit were believed to be scored. There was heavy predicted flak and searchlights were scattered. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good clear over target. Navigation was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1596 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
Sgt. Martin John Byrne, RNZAF NZ404529 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Patrick Callaghan, RNZAF NZ411739 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alan Walter Rutherford, RNZAF NZ404572 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Arthur Titcomb, RAFVR 1291758 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:40 – Landed 05:15
Flight Time 05:35

21/07/1942 – Attack Against at Duisburg
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs 30lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area but results were unobserved. Photographs were taken however. A.A. fire was not very heavy but there were any searchlight cones. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good, clear over target. Navigation was by TR & DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 03:55

23/07/1942 – Attack Against at Duisburg
Fourteen a/c were dtailed to attack the above target and bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area. Results unobserved. A.A. fire was heavy and concentrated. Searchlights were few owing to cloud. One JU.88 was seen. TWo other enemy a/c were seen but did not attack. Weather was poor, cloudy over the target. Nav. was good

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:45 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 03:45

26/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Fifteen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack against the above target. Bomb load of 34000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and incendiaries was dropped on target area. Numerous fires and bomb bursts were seen. A.A. fire was accurate. Seven searchlights destroyed and others damaged and one m/c gun post silenced by Well.III, X3396, captained by Sgt. Kearns. Searchlights were ineffective owing to moon. One JU88 was seen 30 miles from enemy coast but did not attack. Weather was clear over target but cloudy on route. Navigation was very good by TR and DR

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:55 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 05:50

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 05:05
Flight Time 06:20

29/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Saarbrucken
Ten a/c were detailed to attack the above targets and bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4;b incendiaries was dropped in target area. Hits were observed in target area. A.A. fire was weak and searchlights scarce. A twin engined fighter was seen on return route. Well. III, X3396 was attacked by JU88 but was able to evade it. Weather was cloudy. Navigation was TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:45 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 05:35

31/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Eleven a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area. Good results were obtained and hits observed. A.A. fire was moderate and search lights although numerous, were ineffective. Well.III, X3396 was attacked by a JU88 but evaded successfully. F/Sgt. Lewis, rear gunner of Well.III, X3646 was struck and injured by a 4lb incendiary bomb falling from another a/c. Weather was good and navigation was by DR and TR

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:20 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 03:45

11/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb load of 4000lb, 1000lb, 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in target area. A.A. fire was light, searchlights were scarce and ineffective. One fighter was seen by P/O Horne in Wellington B.J.765 as he was crossing the Dutch Coast homeward bound, no attack was made. The weather was moderate, being cloudy near target. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ837 captain Sgt. Hockaday.N.J., five minutes from the English coast on way to target, fabric stripped off nose of aircraft to port and starboard, the Bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base. Three aircraft failed to return, Wellington B.J.767 captained by F/O Dobbin, Wellington B.J.625, Sgt Barclay.T.S., captain, Wellington X.3646 captain Sgt Bradey.G.E.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Henry William Baker, RAFVR 107286 – 2nd Pilot.
S/L Ronald Ernest Kimber, RAF 45956 – Observer.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RCAF R.92690 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. J. E. London, RAFVR 953137 – Rear Gunner.

Flight Time – missing

 

 

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