23.06.1941 No. 485 Squadron Spitfire IIa P7975 Sgt. Bullen
Date: 23rd June 1941 (Monday)
Unit: No. 485 Squadron (12 Group)
Type: Spitfire IIa
Serial: P7975 (Spirit of Taranaki)
Base: RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire
Location: English Channel
Pilot: Sgt. Richard John Bullen NZ/40753 RNZAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off on a patrol to cover the withdrawal of a Bomber force at 13:00 hrs from RAF West Malling in Kent. 5 aircraft from the squadron taking part.
Sgt. Bullen in P7975 is understood to have been shot down by an Me109 and was last seen rolling on to its back and spinning into the sea some 10 miles south west Boulogne. Another patrol was sent out just 10 minutes later to search for the pilot. No trace could be found despite greenish oil being seen in the sea.
No. 485 Squadron 1941 - Standing, (L-R): French; P/O. Donald Stuart McGregor NZ/401280; Fl/Lt. Richard Barrett NZ/391324; F/O. William Arthur Middleton NZ/39928;, Allan Shaw; Graham Howe Francis;, John C. Martin NZ/40313; Marcus Knight (CO); Francis Noel Brinsden NZ/40338; Patrick Stewart McBride; Athol Gordon McIntyre NZ/36257;, Thomas Gordon Smith NZ/414692; Bengard; Neville; Gordon Ernest Erridge Kneeling front, left to right: James William George NZ/40722; Murray; A.W. Morton; Hal Thomas; Richard John Bullen NZ/40753; Bill Crawford-Compton NZ/65500; Jack Maney NZ/0240; James Kerrow "Jim" Porteous (aka 'Pranger'); Austin B. Smith; Harvey Nelson Sweetman NZ/40992; and Kevin Desmond Cox NZ/401257.
Sgt. Richard John Bullen. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. Son of Frederick R. and Olga J. Bullen, of Beachlands, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 277 flying hours logged.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: