Date of birth
1918 Public - Kerrie - Researcher - 17 February 2019 - New Zealand Birth record 1918/23358
Place of birth
Napier Public - Kerrie - Researcher - 17 February 2019 - New Zealand Birth record 1918/23358
Son of Barbara Ellen and Thomas Buckley Baber. Public - Kerrie - Researcher - 17 February 2019 - New Zealand Birth record 1918/23358
Address before enlistment
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Medals and Awards
- Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) AWMM
- Czechoslovak Medal for Bravery. Conferred 12 January 1943. Public - Kerrie - Researcher - 17 February 2019 - The London Gazette. (1943). Supplement to the London Gazette. Retrieved from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35858/supplement/270/data.pdf
POW liberation details
POW serial number
- Mentioned in Despatches
Awarded Czech Medal for Bravery. AWMM
- BABER, Flight Lieutenant Thomas James Desmond, mid, Czech Medal for Bravery. NZ39857;
Born Napier, 23 Sep 1918; RNZAF 20 Oct 1939 to (kao) 12 Mar 1942; Air Gunner.
Citation Mention in Despatches (NY1942): For distinguished service. For service with 75(NZ)Sqn RAF (Wellington).
Citation Czech Medal for Bravery (3 Jan 1942): Not available. The following letter gives the background to this award:
“President of the Czechoslovak Republic, Chancellery, 9 Grosvenor Place, LONDON, SW1, 26 November 1941.
Dear Mr Dunbar,
The Czechoslovak Minister of National Defence has the intention of proposing to the President of the Czechoslovak Republic that Flt Lt T J D Baber, RNZAF should be decorated with the Czechoslovak Medal for Bravery.
This British officer is attached to Czechoslovak Squadron 311 as instructor in aerial gunnery. From the beginning he has shown great interest in the activity of the Squadron and has voluntarily taken part in three operational flights, the last of which was especially difficult owing to bad weather and strong icing.
I am writing this to enquire whether the proposed measure will meet with the approval of His Majesty’s Government and remain,
Sincerely yours [Sgd] J. Sejnoha, Chief of Protocol.
Robert Dunbar Esq., MC., Foreign Office, LONDON.”
Flt Lt Baber was one of the first two RNZAF air gunners commissioned. His targets whilst with 75 Sqn included - Cologne, Berlin, Mannheim, Duisburg, Hamm, Essen, Krefeld, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Bottrop, Wesel, Leipzig, Gelsenkirchen, Wilhelmshaven, Bremen, Le Havre, Brest, Lorient, Boulogne, the docks at Ostend and Antwerp, Soesterberg airfield in Holland and the dropping of incendiaries on the Black Forest. With 311 Sqn he attacked Nuremberg, Hamburg, Aachen, Wilhelmshaven, Turin and Brest.
He completed 32 sorties with 75(NZ)Sqn RAF and seven with 311(Czech)Sqn RAF. Kao Kiel, Germany, 12 Mar 1942 with 75(NZ)Sqn RAF (Wellington) on his 39th sortie. No known grave. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Public - Kerrie - Researcher - 17 February 2019 - Hanson, C. M. (2001). By such deeds : honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, New Zealand: Volplane Press.
Martin, E. (2008). British personnel with 311 Squadron. Retrieved from http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?2760-British-personnel-with-311-Squadron
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|17 February 2019||Kerrie||New Zealand||Researcher||
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