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The Airmen's Stories - F/O B H Bowring

 

Benjamin Harvey Bowring was born on 9th February 1918 and educated at Uppingham School. He learned to fly at the Brooklands Flying Club in 1937. He joined 600 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in 1938 and was commissioned in July.


Called to full-time service on 24th August 1939, he served with 600 Squadron until 24th August 1940 when he was posted to 111 Squadron at Debden.

 

 

On 30th August he damaged a Me110, on the 31st probably destroyed a Me110 and damaged another, on 2nd September he probably destroyed a He111 and damaged a Me110, on the 4th destroyed a Me109, on the 5th destroyed a Me109, probably destroyed another and damaged a third and on the 6th destroyed a Ju88.

Bowring was wounded in the arm on the 6th and did not return to the squadron until 24th October.

He was shot down in early November and admitted to hospital, wounded.


After recovery, he joined 260 Squadron at Skitten on December 7 1940, recently-reformed at Castletown, as 'B' Flight Commander.


In May 1941 the squadron embarked on the carrier HMS Victorious. At Gibraltar it transferred on to HMS Ark Royal and on 14th June flew off to Malta. After refuelling, it went on to Egypt and eventually arrived in Haifa to take part in the Syrian campaign.

Bowring served with the squadron detachment at Beirut. He returned to the UK in October 1941 and was posted to an Armament Officer's course.


He later took command of 278 (ASR) Squadron at Coltishall. Bowring led the squadron until its disbandment in September 1945. By that time it had rescued 998 men from the sea.

Bowring was released in 1945 as a Squadron Leader.

He was a member of the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club, founders of the Cresta Run, and also raced at Brooklands in a Jaguar.

Bowring died in 1994.

 


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