At 18:14 on October 20 the Bradley crew took off from Syerston in P1212 on their ninth operation. They were one of 153 aircraft tasked to attack two aiming points in the marshalling yards at Bremen with 82 Hampdens making up the majority of the force. They successfully dropped their load of two 500lb, two 250lb and two small bomb containers.
The return was uneventful until 4 miles (6.4km) north of Coningsby at 00:45 when the starboard engine failed due to fuel starvation. The Hampden stalled and, before Bradley could complete the recovery, it crashed on the northern edge of the small village of Haltham. Coles was the only survivor, suffering a broken neck, burns and severe concussion.