Rank & Name: F/L Tommy Thomas DFC
Date of Death: 1995


It appears that Sgt. Thomas (pilot) arrived to the Squadron during the conversion period to the Liberator Mk.III's in September 1942. He first flight appears to be on the 24.10.1942 with F/O E.E. Allen & crew in Liberator B/59 - A/S Escort 'Conifer".

In Dec. the Squadron began conversion to the Fortress Mk.IIA and began operations out of RAF Chivenor in January 1944.

L-R: George LaForme-Nav, Al Henry-W.op/AG, George Fleiger - Tailgunner, Ernie Allen - Pilot, Tommy Thomas - Co-Pilot, Lloyd Woods - Gunner, Bart Barton - Gunner.

It is unclear at this time when this photo was taken but it is most likely in 1942. Possibly during the conversion period to the Liberator Mk.III's in September, when the Squadron code 'TR' is confirmed to have been kept. It appears that once they went operational in October of 1942, the aircraft flew with no Squadron code, only an aircraft letter... It wasn't until they moved to RAF Ballykelly in September 1943, and possibly when on detachment to RAF Chivenor, that they began to use the code '1'.

He remained 2nd pilot with Allen & crew throughout the period of operations with the Fortress Mk.IIA (Jan-March 1943) and also after conversion to the Liberator Mk.V-VLR in April, operations beginning on 7th of May. However by July it appears that he has been replaced in the Allen crew with Sgt. H. Jones. On the 18th of August, Thomas undertakes his first sortie as captain and has been promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer. His crew on this day were Sgt. E. Seaver (2nd pilot) - W/O R.N. Pike (Nav) - Sgt's A.B. Droman, E. Omerod, J.J. Primeau, G.W. Gerring & W.C. Wallace (some of whom are pictured below). Sgt. Droman stayed with the crew throughout September, perhaps he was a flight engineer assigned to the crew whilst they were still considered 'fresh' but by October, he's left and the normal crew size of 7, remain. On the 16th of Oct. they attacked and sunk U-844 during a convoy battle around ON-206. For his part in this action, P/O Thomas would later be awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross), London Gazette 18.1.44.

In November, Thomas was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer, w.e.f (with effect from) 16.7.43. His first flight in this rank takes place on the 12th, in Liberator FL973 - C/59. A new crew member appears in Sgt. V.G. Bruce. F/L F.N. Jenkin (Nav-B) was posted to the Squadron on the 21st of Dec. 1943 and he first appears with the crew on the 8th of January 1944 but is not present for the rest of the month. He rejoins the crew in early Feb perhaps having undertaken some further navigational training... This crew undertake their last sortie together on the 5th of Feb, after F/O Thomas steps down from flying duties and is eventually posted to RAF Station Ballykelly for duties at Maydown, on the 21st.


(back L-R) W/O R.N. Pike (Nav), R.G. Marlow, D. Mortimer , R.J. Nunan, C. Boardman "Bordy"
(Front L-R) F/S E. Omerod "Scotty", F/S J. Seaver "Pop" (co-pilot), Derek Alcock (pilot), F/L F.N. Jenkin "Smoky"

This photo was sent in by Sally Benwell (the daughter of W/O Pike) and the names have been updated by John Nunan (the son of R.J. Nunan) and Andrew Boardman (the son of Clifford Boardman). All contributions gave the above crew list.

Update August 2014: I have recently been contacted by John Nunan, the son of R.J Nunan, who has a copy of the same picture except the names differ. They are as follows...

(back L-R) W/O R.N. Pike (Nav), R.G. Marlow, D. Mortimer , R.J. Nunan, Bordy

(Front L-R) Scotty, Pop, Derek Alcock, Smoky

Update August 2015: I have recently been contacted by Andrew Boardman, the son of Clifford Boardman aka 'Bordy' pictured above.



After Thomas leaves the Squadron on 21st Feb, F/L Jenkin is assigned to F/L A.M. Rhodes & crew. On his first flight with them on the 24th, they fail to return. Wallace and Gerring join the crew of P/O I.B. Jenkins (crew later killed on the 24/06/1944), W/O Pike joins the crew of F/L R.P. Wade but is not with them on the 19/06/1944, when Wade & crew are killed. F/S Omerod joins the crew of F/O C.E. Blair, Sgt Bruce joins the crew of F/O W.G. Loney DFC. F/Sgt Seaver seemingly disapears until May 24th, when he is crewed with F/L D.C.R Alcock (formerly 2nd pilot with F/L J. Logsdail & crew). On this day, they caught a U-boat surfacing and made a promising attack... however the D/C's had been released safe... There is no mention however of the postings of Sgt. Taylor... In regards to Seaver, in the above picture, it appears that he has received an award, perhaps for his actions on the 16th of Oct, 1943 - when the crew sunk U-844. Thomas has also received his award, which dates this picture, as taken between the 16th of Janurary (awards received) and the 21st of Feburary (Thomas posted out).


Recently I was contacted by Phil, the grandson of F/L Thomas. He submitted the following...


My grandfather was F/Lt Tommy Thomas DFC – (Allen crew) and i was wondering if you've ever come across any other information on him or whether there's any service records i could try and get hold of? Sadly he died in 1995 in Burvale, Melbourne having moved there in the early '70s.



Tommy was 76 when he passed away.




Further Information

If you have any information about Tommy Thomas, please contact me, thank you.



Rest In Peace