The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A B Cumbers
Alfred Bernard Cumbers was born in Southend in 1908 and joined the RAFVR in March 1939 as an Airman u/t WOp/AG. He was called up on 1st September 1939 and with his training as an air gunner completed he joined 141 Squadron at West Malling on 14th July 1940.
Above image courtesy of Ruth Cumbers via Shona Borthwick.
During the night of 16th September Cumbers was in Defiant N1552 with F/O J Waddingham. They destroyed a He111 and probably shot down another into the sea.
Cumbers was awarded the DFM (gazetted 18th March 1941).
He later retrained as a Navigator Radar and was commissioned from Warrant Officer in March 1942.
Cumbers was serving with 89 Squadron in 1942 in the Middle East, still flying with Waddingham.
On the night of 4th/5th July they destroyed a Ju88 NE of Port Said in Beaufighter X7719.
They were with an 89 Squadron detachment in Malta in September 1942. On the 26th their Beaufighter V8268 was shot down by the Luqa AA guns as they approached to land, having returned early from a patrol.
Both men were pulled from the burning aircraft but Waddingham died from his injuries next day.
Cumbers was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant. He later settled in South Africa.
He died on 28th December 1985.