Flight Lieutenant Neil Thomson BADGER DFC

Service No: 407161
Born: Hyde Park SA, 27 May 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1940
Unit: 528th Bomber Squadron (USAAF), Fenton NT
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 26 March 1943 (Citation Title: Headquarters North Western Area RAAF)
Died: Air Operations (No. 528 Squadron B-24 Liberator aircraft 42-411117), Dutch New Guinea, 8 May 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David Magnus Badger and Maggie Knox Badger, of Lyrup, South Australia; husband of Olive June Badger, of Myponga, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Willunga SA
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 134, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

DFC Citation: “Flight Lieutenant Badger was a pilot in a formation of five which was attacked by a Zero. Flying in No 4 position he realized that the fourth aircraft made the formation unwieldy and that the persistency of the head on attack placed it in a dangerous position. He broke away regardless of the danger to himself and was attacked by two Zeros, one of which was shot down. His initial act of bravery and sacrifice leaving the formation when he was almost certain to be attacked alone, together with his excellent tactics, indicate distinguished and disciplined flying and show courage and doggedness of the most outstanding nature.” (London Gazette 26 February 1943, Page 1414)

On 8 May 1944, Liberator 42-41117 was one of six B-24 aircraft tasked with a reconnaissance mission along the north-west coast of New Guinea. At about 1230 hours, the formation was attacked by 11 enemy aircraft and 42-41117 was damaged in the air combat and ditched off Jefman (Efman) Island. Two survivors were sighted following the ditching. An extensive search was conducted in the succeeding days but no trace of the aircraft and the two survivors was found.

The crew members of 42-41117 were:

Flight Lieutenant Neil Thompson Badger DFC (407161) (Co-Pilot)
First Lieutenant Frederick R Baumann (O-682132) (USAAF) (Navigator)
First Lieutenant John G Eggleston (O-679614) (USAAF) (Bombardier)
Technical Sergeant Bradley F Farr (324493140 (USAAF) (Engineer)
Staff Sergeant David L Haga (34435878) (USAAF) (Assistant Engineer)
Private First Class Clinton L Hollingsworth (34474104) (USAAF) (Gunner)
Staff Sergeant James C Holt (13083496) (USAAF) (Radio Operator)
Staff Sergeant Russell E Kearns (34400077) (USAAF) (Gunner)
Staff Sergeant Donald L Lewis (37181301) (USAAF) (Photographer)
Staff Sergeant Glenn A Miller (35207764) (USAAF) (Assistant Radio Operator)
First Lieutenant Roy M Parker (O-465182) (USAAF) (Pilot)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
Horton, G.R. Jr. (Glenn) The Best in the Southwest: The 380th Bombardment Group (H) in World War II Southwest Pacific Area, Mosie Publications, Savage Minnesota US, 1995
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 23; A705, 166/5/523


Nelmes, M.V. (Michael) Tocumwal to Tarakan: Australians and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1994

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