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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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461
461 Squadron Sunderland III T9085 Fl/Lt. Bruce Lyndon Buls

Operation: Patrol

Date: 21st January 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 461 Squadron (motto: 'They shall not pass unseen')

Type: Sunderland III

Serial: T9085

Code: UT-A

Base: RAF Hamworthy, Poole, Dorset

Location: North Atlantic Ocean

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Bruce Lyndon Buls Aus/403129 RAAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Pilot 2: F/O. Henry Lawrence Osborne Aus/403600 RAAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed

Pilot 3: P/O. Jack Henry Moore Aus/411801 RAAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Roy Ambrose Stuart Tucker Aus/6241 RAAF Age 33. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Hal Ian Comer Dent Aus/411428 RAAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Eric Bradley 138813 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Percy Evans 1201919 RAFVR Age 35. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Owen Stewart Filmer Aus/403091 RAAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Noel Henry Raybould Hart Aus/404915 RAAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr/Fitter: A/C 1. Alexander Edward Elrick Aus/30954 RAAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr/Fitter: Sgt. John William Joseph Gill Aus/15186 RAAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Hamworthy at 12:08 hrs to patrol the area over the Bat of Biscay.

The last message received from T9085 was an SOS signal at 14:59 hrs but due to the severe weather an accurate fox proved impossible and it is described as coming down in the sea on the western approaches.

An unsuccessful search was made and a 279 Squadron RAF Hudson aircraft was lost during the search, though the crew members parachuted to safety, The search was finally called off due to very poor visibility and severe weather conditions. No trace of the crew or aircraft wreckage was found.

Above: 461 Squadron Sunderland crews: L-R: P/O. John Bernard Nicholls Aus/403760 RAAF, Sgt. John Robert Stevens Aus/405098 RAAF, Sgt. John Lewis Aus/405228 RAAF, P/O. Henry Everard Winstanley DFC Aus/401356 RAAF, F/O. Colin William Steley Aus/404554 RAAF, Sgt. Burton RAFVR, Sgt. Allsop RAFVR, Fl/Sgt. Church RAFVR, P/O. Gordon Oskar Singleton Aus/400841 RAAF. Front: Sgt. John William Joseph Gill Aus/15186 RAAF, Sgt. Bellamy RAFVR, and Sgt. Reginald John Bateup Aus/402914 RAAF.

During 1943, No. 461 Squadron mainly conducted daylight anti-submarine patrols over the Bay of Biscay, having moved to a new base at Pembroke Dock in April 1943. These patrols exposed the squadron's aircraft to frequent attacks by German fighters. The Sunderland aircraft were fitted with a heavy defensive armament, however, and were often successful in beating off fighter attacks. In 1943, the squadron sank a total of three U-boats. By May 1943, No. 461 Squadron was fully equipped with the more advanced Mark III Sunderland. This aircraft allowed the Squadron to operate at night. Equipped with these improved aircraft the squadron continued to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic, including patrols in support of the Allied landing in Normandy. The squadron sank three U-boats in 1944.

Above L-R: Sgt. Richard Hattam Aus/401562 RAAF, P/O. Hal Ian Comer Dent Aus/411428 RAAF, Fl/Lt. Bruce Lyndon Buls Aus/403129 RAAF, Sgt. Alfred Joel Taylor Aus/5942 RAAF, Sgt. Edgar Bernard Gallagher Aus/405206 RAAF. Front: Sgt. Arthur Miller Aus/405083 RAAF, Sgt. Roy Ambrose Stuart Tucker Aus/6241 RAAF.

Above rear L-R: Sgt. Arthur Miller Aus/405083 RAAF, Sgt. Richard Hattam Aus/401562 RAAF, F/O. Hal Ian Comer Dent Aus/411426, Fl/Lt. Bruce Lyndon Buls Aus/403129 RAAF, Sgt. Alfred Joel Taylor Aus/5942 RAAF, Sgt. Edgar Bernard Gallagher Aus/405206 RAAF, 6241 Sgt. Roy Ambrose Stuart Tucker Aus/6241 RAAF. Front: Unamed RAFVR crew members.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Bruce Lyndon Buls. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 187. Born on the 18th August 1917 in Petersham New South Wales. Son of Edward Henry (died 18th May 1970) and Bessie Isabella Buls (née McGregor - died 18 Oct 1954, age 74), of 'Craigroy',19 Nichols Sreer, East Balmain, New South Wales, Australia.

F/O. Henry Lawrence Osborne. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 188. Born on the 28th February 1913 in Melbourne, Victoria. Son of Stephen Messman Osborne (died 10th May 1939, age 67)and Laura Rutherford Osborne (died 11th December 1962, age 80) and husband of Betty Mary Osborne, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

P/O. Jack Henry Moore. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 188. Born on the 06th June 1913 in Sydney, New South Wales. Son of James Moore, and of Eva Moore, of Cremorne, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Roy Ambrose Stuart Tucker. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 03rd April 1909 in Brisbane, Queensland. Son of John Ambrose Tucker and Mary Ellen Tucker and husband of Gladys Acquin Tucker (née Biggs, later Whitehouse - died 18th March 1985, age 70), of South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

F/O. Hal Ian Comer Dent. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 187. Born on the 13th July 1921 in Brisbane, Queensland. Son of Henry Isidore Comer Dent and Ada Dent, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Above: BOAC and RAF Hamwothy Memorial

P/O. Eric Bradley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 130. Son of William and Myra Bradley, of Wood Linkin, Derbyshire, England.

Sgt. Percy Evans. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 149. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Ada Elizabeth Evans (died 30th August 1950, age 49), of Barkingside, Essex, England.

Sgt. Owen Stewart Filmer. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 192. Born on the 21st September 1916 in Woodstock, New South Wales. Son of Conrad Stewart Filmer and Irene Frances Filmer, of Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Noel Henry Raybould Hart. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 192. Born on the 19th December 1915 in Brisbane, Queensland. Son of Henry Barber (died February 1967, age 79) and Ethel Raybould Hart (née Rhodes - died 02nd September 1917, age 30) Jean Hart, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

A/C 1. Alexander Edward Elrick. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 16th November 1922 in Hobart Tasmania. Son of Robert Tasman Grant Elrick (died 22 Nov 1976 age 79) and Ethel Lillian Elrick (died 25 Feb 192, age 32), of West Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Sgt. John William Joseph Gill. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 195. Born on the 21st June 1917 in Huntsville, New South Wales. Son of James and Elizabeth Gill, of Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the National Archives of Australia, National Archives Kew, Air 27-1915-1.

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 16-05-2023

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Acknowledgements
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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