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The Airmen's Stories - AC2 R W Cullen


Reginald Walker Cullen was born in Northampton on 2nd June 1919. He joined the RAFVR in May 1939 as an Aircrafthand. Called up on 1st September 1939, he was sent to RAF Wittering where he joined 23 Squadron.

He remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner and on 4th September Cullen began gunnery training with the squadron.

He married Patricia Vernon in early 1940 in Northampton.

In March 1940 embarkation orders came for the Middle East and then Finland but both were cancelled.

In June 1940 the squadron moved to Ford and began flying night patrols from Tangmere.

By November 1940 23 Squadron was intruding by night over French airfields, often dropping anti-personnel bombs.

On 9th January 1941 Blenheim L1226 was on such a sortie to the Beauvais area when it was shot down, the circumstances are still undocumented. Cullen, Sgt. RW Jones and Sgt. GE Bessell were able to bale out and were taken prisoner.

Cullen was sent to Dulag Luft for interrogation. Two weeks later he went to Stalag Luft 1. During his captivity he was confined in the PoW camps at Stalag Luft 1, 3, 4 and 6.

The final four months of the war were spent on the road and the last camp was vacated ahead of the Russian advance.

Cullen was liberated in early June 1945 by the 6th Airborne Division.

He was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Warrant Officer.

Cullen died in October 2003 in Northampton.

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