Pilot Officer Walter Burford BERNIE

Service No: 428901
Born: Newtown NSW, 11 June 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 October 1942
Unit: No. 8 Communication Unit, Madang
Died: Air Operations (No. 8 Communication Unit Walrus aircraft X9559), Unei Island, New Guinea, 25 October 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Madeline Bernie, of Petersham, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 25 October 1944, Walrus X9559 was destroyed by enemy ground fire while at anchor. Prior to this, Warrant Officer Brown and Captain Evenson went ashore – Warrant Officer Brown was captured and Captain Evenson was killed in the ground battle in which the aircraft was also destroyed and Pilot Officer Bernie was killed. On board X9559 were:

Pilot Officer Walter Burford Bernie (428901) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Joseph Merrick Towers Brown (418063) (Navigator) PoW, Died: 1 November 1944
Captain Morris Glen Evensen (NGX189) (Army) (Air Liaison Officer) Died 25 October 1944

The action was witnessed by observers from No. 100 Squadron Beaufort aircraft A9-616 (Flying Officer Philip Alexander Dey (402853) (Pilot) Killed: 16 March 1945) which had to leave due to a fuel shortage at about the time that the ground battle erupted. Following a short gap, the relieving Beaufort (A9-638, Warrant Officer Leland Ivor Page (407157) (Pilot) Discharged: 13 July 1945) arrived to see the Walrus burning and no further sighs of the crew. Aircraft kept the site under surveillance over the next few days and boats were sent to patrol off the coast during darkness, but these too, saw no further signs of the crew.


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
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/752

Book Now Book Now