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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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485 Squadron Crest
23.06.1941 No. 485 Squadron Spitfire IIa P7975 Sgt. Bullen

Operation: Patrol

Date: 23rd June 1941 (Monday)

Unit: No. 485 Squadron (12 Group)

Type: Spitfire IIa

Serial: P7975 (Spirit of Taranaki)

Code: OU-?

Base: RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire

Location: English Channel

Pilot: Sgt. Richard John Bullen NZ/40753 RNZAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed


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.

Burial details:

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:

KTY 13.10.2018

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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