Pilot Officer Thomas Wallace BRADLEY

Service No: 422115
Born: Sydney NSW, 3 February 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942
Unit: No. 103 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Elsham Wolds
Died: Air Operations (No. 103 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ND420), Denmark, 10 April 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas Vincent Bradley and Elizabeth Gilmore Bradley, of Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Customs House World War II Roll of Honour, Circular Quay NSW

Lancaster ND420 took off from Elsham Wolds at 2118 hours on the night of 9 April 1944, detailed to carry out a gardening (mine laying) mission in the Baltic. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research and Enquiry team later reported “the aircraft crashed near Brande, Denmark. The aircraft must have exploded in the air after the survivors baled out.” Five of the crew members were killed and two became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of ND420 were:

Flight Sergeant Jack Bernaldo (410115) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Thomas Wallace Bradley (422115) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Keith Francis Clohessy (427295) (Rear Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 3 December 1945
Pilot Officer James Andrew Harold Nimmo (401638) (Pilot)
Sergeant James Manderson Roberts (1567921) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant John Smith (418679) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 12 October 1945
Pilot Officer Arthur Thomas Thornton (410792) (Wireless Air Gunner)

Flight Sergeant Clohessy later reported “The aircraft caught fire due to enemy action (probably a
night fighter) on the return flight from operations. The Pilot gave the order to abandon the aircraft at about 20,000 feet. The order was not acknowledged by anyone. The plane was burning fiercely and losing height, but was still in flying attitude. I baled out at about 3000 feet. I saw no other member of the crew abandon the aircraft but the Rear Gunner had already gone. I don’t know if the others left the aircraft. I was injured in the right knee and captured by Danish police on 13th April.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/482
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Charlwood, D.E.C. (Donald Ernest Cameron) (408794) No Moon Tonight (Angus and Robertson 1956), Penguin Ringwood VIC, 3134, 1991

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