Frederick Henry (Tim) BUNCE DFC

BUNCE, Frederick Henry

Service Number: 424550
Enlisted: 12 September 1942
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 461 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Coogee, New South Wales, Australia, 13 June 1924
Home Town: Vaucluse, Waverley, New South Wales
Schooling: Tudor House Moss Vale, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Industrial Chemist
Died: 24 February 2010, aged 85 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, NSW
North East Terrace, Wall 31.
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World War 2 Service

12 Sep 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, 424550
12 Sep 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, Royal Australian Air Force
10 Jan 1945: Involvement Flight Lieutenant, 424550, No. 461 Squadron (RAAF)
10 Sep 1945: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, 424550

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Biography contributed by Marshall Sheehan

 F H (Tim ) Bunce enlisted in the RAAF at Bradfield Park on the 12th September 1942 with Norman Sheehan and Marsh Godsall. He trained at Bundaberg with these two and the three became firm friends. They travelled to the UK via New York and all joined 461 Squadron where they trained and flew operations together each becoming aircrew captains.

On the 23 March 1944 Bunce was attacked by nine German Ju88's initially escaping from them and shooting one down. However cannon fire from the German aircraft set a fuel tank alight and Bunce successfully crash landed his Sunderland into the ocean which was then running a 40 to 60 foot swell 

Bunce and his First Pilot  Flying Officer Howard were thrown through the windscreen by the force of the impact of the aircraft with the water.Whilst struggling in the water the main life from the sinking Sunderland detatched from the aircraft and struck Bunce who grabbed it and inflated it.Seven survivors clambered into the dinghy and spent 48 hours at sea until sighted by a 461 Squadron aircraft flown byn Mc Keough who directed a British destroyer HMS Saladin to pluck them from the water .Bunce's Third Pilot was killed during this incident.

Marsh Godsall and crew were flying an adjacent patrol and heard the signal from Bunce that he was being attacked by enemy aircraft. Godsall immediately flew to Bunces aid and flew straight into the German Ju 88' and was engaged with them in a running battle before he successfully fought them off without incurring any casualities 

Tim Bunce was aged 19 years at the time and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross Marsh Godsall received a MiD 

Like many members of 461 Squadron Tim Bunce finished his war service with 4(C) OTU on the 10 September 1945