James Frederick BAILES DFM

Serial Number: NZ412422
RNZAF Trade: Air Gunner
Date of Enlistment: 16th of April 1941
Date of Demob: 15th of December 1945
Rank Achieved: Flight Lieutenant
Flying Hours:
Operational Sorties:

Date of Birth: 25th of March 1915, in Auckland
Personal Details: Born at Waikumete, Auckland, James was the son of the late Mr G.H. Bailes of Matangi. He worked on a farm at Matangi before joining the RNZAF. James also had a brother serving overseas.

Service Details: James trained as a gunner in New Zealand and in Canada. He was subsequently based in both Britain and North Africa, before returning to New Zealand. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal on the 24 th of September 1943 for his service as an Air Gunner on Vickers Wellington bombers of No 150 Squadron, RAF. The DFM citation reads:

Flight Sergeant Bailes has completed many sorties over Tunisian and Italian objectives. He has displayed first class ability as a rear gunner and has played an important part in the success of achieved by his crew. Both on the ground and in the air his keenness and courage have been outstanding.

James had completed 16 sorties of his second tour when he was repatriated to New Zealand in April 1944. He became a gunnery instructor at No 1 (Bomber) Operational Training Unit at RNZAF Ohakea. Following this he was posted as Gunnery Leader with No 4 Sqn on Lockheed Venturas in March 1945, and served with this squadron in the Pacific

Details of Death: James Bailes died in Thames on the 2nd of April 1992

Connection with Cambridge: James lived at Matangi before the war


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