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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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coastal command
11/12th November 1944 132 OTU Beaufighter TF.X LX944 W/O. Bulman

Operation: Training

Date: 11/12th November 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 132 Operational Training Unit. 17 Group. Coastal Command

Type: Beaufighter TF.X

Serial: LX944

Code: -

Base: RAF East Fortune, East Lothian

Location: North Sea - see map

Pilot: W/O. Gordon Thomas Bulman NZ/42104 RNZAF Age 28. Missing - believed killed

Pilot U/T: Fl/Sgt. Edward Frank Craddock 1324961 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed


took off shortly after 22:00 and in low cloud and mist was seen at 22:39 hrs from the SS Marina to crash into the sea close by, about 5 miles NE of St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire.

The vessel immediately went to the scene but found no trace of the aircraft or its crew, both of whom are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Burial details:

W/O. Gordon Thomas Bulman. Runnymede Memorial Panel 263. Born on the 14th April 1916 at Invercargill. Worked as a self employed lorry driver prior to service. Enlisted at Woodbourne on the 07th January 1942. Commenced pilot training at No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 16th October 1942 then to No. 1 Service Flying Training School on the 28th December 1942. Pilots badge awarded on the 15th March 1943 then promoted to sergeant on the 06th May 1943. Joined 2 squadron on the 09th May 1943, then to the Pacific joining 4 squadron on the 07th July 1943 and flew 49 operational sorties. Returned to New Zealand on the 16th November 1943. On the 12th December 1943 joined the School of General Reconnaissance flying the Anson. Embarked for England on the 12th March 1944. After serving with other units flying the Oxford joined 132 Operational Training Unit on the 05th September 1944 for conversion training on the Beaufighter. Son of Thomas (died 06th June 1948) and Florence Jane Bulman (nee Henderson - died 09th June 1964) husband of Catherine May Bulman (nee Molloy), of Riverton, Southland, New Zealand. A total 0f 716 flying hours logged with 44 of these on the Beaufighter.

Fl/Sgt. Edward Frank Craddock. Runnymede Memorial Panel 216. Son of Edward and Lilian Craddock and husband of Joan May Craddock, of Prestwich, Lancashire, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 12-08-2021

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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