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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J D Culmer


James Douglas Culmer was born on 15th March 1913 in Walthamstow. He joined 600 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force as an Aircrafthand about October 1938. Called to full-time service on 24th August 1939, he remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner and completed his training.

He was serving with 600 Squadron until May 1940 when he was posted to 25 Squadron at North Weald, serving with it throughout the Battle of Britain.



On the night of 15th/16th November 1940 Culmer was gunner in a Blenheim patrolling over Essex with Sgt. SV Holloway, pilot, and AC F Fildes, radar operator.

A He111 was suddenly illuminated by a searchlight about 50 yards astern of Culmer's aircraft. He opened fire, causing the Heinkel to break up.

He was awarded the DFM (gazetted 24th December 1940).

Culmer was serving with 25 Squadron until 1942. He was commissioned from Warrant Officer in August 1944 and stayed on in the RAF after the war in the Aircraft Control Branch.

He retired on 15th March 1963 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Culmer died in November 1990 in Croydon.


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