Geoffrey Nigel James BRYDE


BRYDE, Geoffrey Nigel James

Service Number: 414195
Enlisted: 17 August 1941
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, 17 September 1912
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: School Teacher
Died: Accidental, United Kingdom, 24 May 1943, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Brandesburton (St Mary) Churchyard, Yorkshire, England
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, International Bomber Command Centre Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Pilot Officer, SN 414195
17 Aug 1941: Enlisted Brisbane, Queensland
17 Aug 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, SN 414195
2 Jul 1942: Embarked

Avro Lancaster W4303

Avro Lancaster heavy bomber Mk1 W4303

On the night of 23rd / 24th May 1943 Lancaster bomber W4303 (UG-D) from 1654 HCU took off from Wigsley airfield at 23.23hrs for a night Bullseye training flight combined with a fighter affiliation exercise. Such Bullseye training flights were carried out by Heavy Conversion Flight aircrews (such as this aircraft) when they were nearing the end of their training course and involved the crew navigating to a British town or city and to then undertake a simulated bombing run on a target, the flights also tested the ground units in the specific town or city in range setting of their equipment and also in practicing with other equipment. This was their final training flight before operations. While flying at around 10,000 feet in the area North-East of Hull just after 03.08hrs the aircraft was illuminated by a number of searchlights. Being coned in searchlights generally resulted in anti-aircraft guns being fired into the cone of light towards the aircraft. To avoid a case of "friendly-fire" the ground units in the Hull area would have expected the Lancaster to drop a coloured recognition flare around the time it was illuminated but the ground units later stated that a flare was dropped much later after severe evasive action had been taken. The violent evasive action taken by the crew to try and get out of the searchlights resulted in failing of the two tail fins, this in turn eventually caused the complete break-up of the aircraft in the air. It crashed over an area of around 1.5 miles in length near the village of Humbleton at 03.08hrs and all eight airmen in the aircraft were killed.

Pilot; Plt Off Geoffrey Nigel James Bryde 414195 RAAF aged 30, of Fairfield, New South Wales, Australia. Buried Brandesburton Churchyard, Yorkshire.

Flight Engineer; Sgt Colin Alexander Nelson 5553 RAAF aged 23, of Northcote, Victoria, Australia. Buried Brandesburton Churchyard, Yorkshire.

Staff Navigator; Plt Off John Albert Walker DFM 145851 RAFVR aged 24, Buried Layton Cemetery, Blackpool, Lancashire.

Navigator; Fg Off Fulliott Victor Polhill Turner 130700 RAFVR aged 28, of St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. Buried Hellingly Cemetery, Sussex.

Bomb Aimer; Sgt James Henry Roy Harper 1393719 RAFVR aged 20, of London. Buried Streatham Park Cemetery, Surrey.

WOp/AG; Sgt William Neill McMullan 1088074 RAFVR aged 21, of Belfast. Buried Belfast City Cemetery, Northern Ireland.

AG; Fg Off Lancelot Herbert Parker 132041 RAFVR aged 27, of Bath, Somerset. Buried Bath (St.Michael's) Cemetery, Somerset.

AG; Sgt Donald Fred Smith 1272560 RAFVR aged 22, of Pentlow, Essex. Buried Pentlow Churchyard, Essex.

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On 21  March 1941 he signed a document at the Recruiting Centre the his palce of residence and business was the Aboriginal Station, Woodenbong

1654 Communications Unit

Disembarked UK 17 August 1942

Killed near Hull, Yorkshire

Son of Alexander Malcolm John and Amy Evelyn Bryde; husband of Bessie Frances Bryde, of Fairfield, New South Wales, Australia. Father of Audrey Grace Bryde