Squadron Leader Bernard Barton CRESSWELL

Commanding Officer No. 76 Squadron

Service No: 82
Born: Fremantle WA, 30 November 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 July 1934
Unit: No. 76 Squadron, Townsville, QLD
Died: Air Operations: (No. 75 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-7), New Guinea, 17 April 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Lae War Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George and Eleanor Martha Cresswell; husband of Faith Lerida Cresswell, of Exeter, New South Wales.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Honour Avenues, Kings Park WA

Squadron Leader Bernard Cresswell is a distant relative of Wing Commander Richard Cresswell DFC (O383).

Squadron Leader Cresswell, the commanding officer of No. 76 Squadron, was killed while flying a 75 Squadron aircraft when Zeros intercepted him on the 17th when returning from an early morning reconnaissance over Lae. Cresswell’s aircraft apparently crashed into a hill while he was diving through cloud.  Flying Officer Woods (1), who was accompanying him, got back to the base though his aircraft was damaged.

(1) Squadron Leader Jeffrey Woods (406064) was discharged from the RAAF on 15 September 1945.

Extract from Gillison, D. (Douglas) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Pages 545-6


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, 163/26/234


Wilson, D. (David) The Decisive Factor: 75 and 76 squadrons Port Moresby and Milne Bay 1942, Banner Books Brunswick VIC 3056, 1991
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Spitfire, Mustang and Kittyhawk in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1988

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