Flight Sergeant Bruce Wainwright THOMAS

Service No: 416466
Born: Unley SA, 6 February 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 June 1941
Unit: No. 76 Squadron (RAF), RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: Radar Bombing Offensive (No. 76 Squadron Halifax aircraft DX171), Germany, 1 May 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Angus Wainwright Thomas and Mary Thomas, of Unley, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Halifax DX171 took off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse at 0040 hours on the night of 30th April/1st May 1943, detailed to bomb Essen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. DX 171 was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at 2343 hours at Estern, 2 kms west of Gescher, Germany. Four of the crew were killed and three became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of DX171 were:

Sergeant Frederick John Chandler (1032376) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Albert Hawley (814218) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant R E Hemsworth (1472158) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Sergeant F Norris (646266) (RAF) (Air Bomber) PoW
Flight Sergeant Bruce Wainwright Thomas (416466) (Pilot)
Sergeant G E Testal (1515941) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Edwin Hall Wood (1311885) (RAFVR) (Navigator)


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/39/69


Chorley W R, To See the Dawn Breaking: 76 Squadron Operations, W R Chorley Devon UK, 1981

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