Sergeant Thomas Alfred WORLEY

Service No: 407659
Born: St Peters SA, 24 January 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 December 1940
Unit: No. 21 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 21 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft R1142), Warwickshire, 21 May 1942, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Moreton-in-Marsh New Cemetery, Gloucestershire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Villanis Worley and Violet Christina Rebecca Worley, of Collinswood, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Walkerville SA
Remembered: Panel 133, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On the 21 May 1942, Wellington R1142 took off from RAF Edgehill for dual instruction in overshoot procedures. The aircraft landed heavily at 2350 hours and the throttles were advanced in order to go round again. It seems likely however, that damage had occurred, as the bomber stalled and crashed two miles east of the airfield. Four of the crew were killed and Sgt Murray was injured.

The crew members of R1142 were:

Sergeant James Anderson (1083374) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant A R Murray (778598) (Southern Rhodesian Air Force) (Air Gunner) Injured
Sergeant Herbert Swales (1138904) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant George Herbert Wilsher (741926) (RAFVR) (Screened Pilot)
Sergeant Thomas Alfred Worley (407659) (Wireless Air Gunner)

A Court of Inquiry into the accident stated: “The Pilot tried to go around again after an attempted landing and the aircraft stalled and crashed. An investigation has revealed no defect to which the cause of the accident could be attributed. The accident occurred at night about half a mile from the upwind end of the runway lit by a row of Glim Lamps with Goose Neck flares at Nos 1, 2 and 3.
The Primary cause of the accident was that the Screened Pilot whilst giving dual did not touch down until approx half way up the runway. He made a heavy landing, bounced, and opened up to go around again and the aircraft stalled and crashed. The Screened Pilot had not been instructing for very long and appears to have allowed the aircraft to stall after bouncing off a heavy landing.”


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, 163/179/168

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