BRADSTREET Raymond Harold 406824

LEST WE FORGET 

Flying Officer Raymond Harold BRADSTREET 

Service No: 406824
Born: Kalgoorlie WA, 15 January 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941
Unit: No. 43 Squadron, Darwin NT
Died: Air Operations: (No. 43 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-64), Philippines, 14 December 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ralph Henderson Bradstreet and Florence Nelly Bradstreet; husband of Patricia Bradstreet, of South Yarra, Victoria.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 103, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

The Catalinas began taking off at 4 .30 p .m. on 14th December.  They circled near Leyte until all planes were in the air and on signal from the radar-jamming plane, all Catalinas flew singly to Manila Bay.  All of them found the target (an area in Manila harbour to lay mines) and made their runs with only minor difficulties.  Catalinas of No. 11 Squadron experienced some small arms fire near Lake Taal and No. 43 Squadron was fired on by machine-guns and rifles from the east coast of Bataan peninsula.  The crews saw heavy anti-aircraft guns open fire round Manila and Corregidor but it was not directed at the Catalinas.  There was little opposition and the Japanese had evidently had little warning of the approach of the Catalinas.  This was attributed to the work of the radar-jamming aircraft and the tactics employed.  The jamming succeeded to such an extent that all seventeen radar stations encountered along the route ceased transmitting as the Catalinas approached.  One of the Australian aircraft (captained by Flight Lieutenant Roberts) failed to return, and two others almost flew into mountains on their way down into the bowl-shaped bay.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 376 and Footnotes

The crew members of A24-64 were:

Flight Sergeant David John Albert (37077) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Robert Carlisle Barbour (419949) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Raymond Harold Bradstreet (406824) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant James Henry Cox (411867) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Harold Stanley Goodchild (82777) (Armourer / Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Charles MacDonald (15882) (Fitter II Airframe / Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Herbert Cunningham Roberts (406368) (Pilot)
Sergeant James Robert Robinson (37766) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Frank William Silvester (411054) (Second Pilot)

References:

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 A9845, 147
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991