These photos are courtesy of John Bradburn, West Midlands – of his father, Chindit John Henry Wallis Bradburn of the 1st Battalion, King’s own (Liverpool) Regiment
John Henry Wallis Bradburn in India with other members of his unit, prior to boarding gliders. On the reverse, he has identified the other men in the photo
Bradburn in Durban
Yank Magazine, 14 May 1944, carries a photo of Bradburn within
Bradburn (indicated by the cross mark) watches another Chindit chug down a drink before Operation “Thursday”
Thanks to Glenn for contributing these photographs from his father’s collection. They deal with the 6th Fighter Squadron, 1st Air Commando Group. If anyone can identify the other men in these photographs, do let me know.
(LEFT) Norman Goldsher in late-1944. An aircraft mechanic, Goldsher was stationed in Asansol and Harpers Ferry, India (RIGHT) Unidentified member of the 6th Squadron poses in front of “Bar-Fly” with an M1 carbine.
(LEFT) Unidentified ground crewmen of the squadron gather in front of the unit’s latest mount, a new P-51D Mustang, circa 1945. (RIGHT) Mechanics refit a P-47 Thunderbolt with a new engine.
(LEFT) Norman Goldsher with “Bar-Fly,” simmering in the heat. (RIGHT) A P-47 undergoes routine maintenance, either at at Asansol Airfield or at Cox’s Bazar, India.
Captain Tommy C. Roberts of 5 Column as he appeared in 1943, in the incarnation of a Lieutenant (note the two pips on his epaulets). Roberts, a member of the 13th King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, commanded 5 Column’s Support Group. Captured in Burma as the first expedition wound down, Roberts spent the rest of the war at the notorious Changi POW camp in Singapore, having been designated as a “special case” by the Japanese Secret Police. Happily, Roberts survived captivity and returned to Liverpool in October 1945, despite difficult conditions at Changi and despite being emaciated by Beriberi. (Photo courtesy of Robert’s daughter, Patricia Ireland)
Members of 7th Troop, ‘A’ Squadron, 45th Recce Regiment. Trooper Fred S. Pett is the second man from the right, kneeling. Trooper Prett sadly perished at the tender age of 23 under known circumstances. (Photo courtesy of Pett’s daughter, Jane Barlow)
The family of David Pearson (see below photograph) believe their father is the tall figure, standing second from right.
Trooper David Pearson of the 45th Recce. A native of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, Pearson was employed as an office boy before joining the army in 1941. He was posted to the 45th Recce in August 1942 but was transferred to the South Staffordshire Regiment after the conclusion of Operation “Thursday.” He survived the war, was demobbed in 1947 and later set up his own business at the Grimsby Fish Docks.
Although he preferred not to talk about the war, his most persistent recollection was of a night in the jungle when a group of Japanese soldiers walked over him and other members of his troop, oblivious to the fact that they were treading over enemy soldiers.
(Photo courtesy of Pearson’s children, David Pearson II and Jill Finn)
Sergeant Tom Stephens as he appeared at the end of 1943. A member of Lt-Colonel Walter Scott’s 81 Column (1st King’s (Liverpool) Regiment), Stephens survived the campaign. After the war, he returned to Liverpool where he lived for the rest of his life.
Stephens was in the first wave of gliders which landed at “Broadway” on the night of March 5, 1944. In another glider being towed by a C-47 Dakota was his best friend and fellow soldier, Jack Shaw. They had enlisted on the same day at Formby Barracks, just north of Liverpool and had gone through Chindit training together. On the flight in, however, Shaw’s glider was prematurely cut loose from its tug. Stephens watched helplessly as the glider drifted helplessly across the Burmese jungle, never to be seen again. In all, 12 gliders were lost in this way during the flight in, with nine crashing behind enemy lines. Years after the war, Stephens sought out Shaw’s widow and was able to tell her how her husband had perished.
According to Tom’s son, Robert Stephens, the Liverpool-based the survivors of 81 and 82 column held a reunion in 1974 which Walter Scott was able to attend. “It was a wonderful event, full of reminiscing and the telling stories…by the end of the evening, he felt like they had all ‘re-fought’ all their battles.”
(Photo courtesy of Robert Stephens)