Born: 1924, West Ham, Essex.
Died: 20th January 1944; age: 20; aircraft lost on mission to Berlin.
Rank: Sergeant/Air Gunner; Service Number: 1867645.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 10 Squadron.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of John & Myfanwy Gildare, of Scarborough, Western Australia.
Father: John Gildare, born 1895.
Mother: Myfanwy Gildare (nee Thomas), born 1896, Neath, Glamorgan, Wales.
On the 30th May 1952, Anthony’s parents, John, 57, a driver and Myfanywy, 56 and his 17 year old sister, Jean P. Gildare, of 82, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, immigrated to Fremantle, Australia. They departed from the Port of Liverpool and sailed on the ‘Dorsetshire’ of the Orient Line. They were to join Anthony’s 22 year old, brother, William Patrick Gildare, a Police Cadet, who had immigrated in May 1951. In August 1953, Anthony’s 22 year old, brother Richard Owen Gildare, of The Hermitage, Undercliff Road, East, Felixstowe sailed to Australia to join his family.
20th/21st January 1944 – the height of the ‘Battle of Berlin.’
Aircraft: Halifax II, serial number: JD740, code: ZA-S, based: R.A.F. Station Melbourne, Yorkshire. The Halifax took off at 16:16hrs with 34 other Bomber Command aircraft on a mission to Berlin, Germany. The raid was largely unsuccessful due to cloud in the target area.
It is not known the exact circumstances of JD740’s loss. It is believed to have crashed near Berlin, and may have been sho down by a German night fighter. Five crew members were killed, two survived to become PoW’s.
Anthony, Ronald Branchflower and Douglas Bolton were laid to rest at Berlin War Cemetery. The bodies of Leslie Dryer and Douglas Arthur were never recovered. Their names are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.
Douglas Alexander Arthur; Flight Sergeant/Pilot; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.
Ronald William Branchflower; Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.
Leslie Dryer; Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 32; R.A.F.V.R.
Douglas Charles Bolton; Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 19; R.A.F.V.R.
D.A. Jackson; Sergeant – PoW
D.H. Larman; Sergeant – PoW
Aircraft information courtesy of John Allan.