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The Airmen's Stories - F/O R J E Boulding


Roger John Eric Boulding was born on 19th November 1919 and joined the RAF on a short service commission, beginning his initial training at 6 E&RFTS Sywell on 29th August 1938. He went to 8 FTS Montrose and finished his training at 11 FTS Shawbury in June 1939.

After a month at the Armament Training Camp at Penrhos, Boulding joined 52 Squadron at Upwood on 27th July.


Above: Boulding with his dog Sam.

Above image courtesy of Dilip Sarkar.

Posted to 98 Squadron at Hucknall in October, he was sent to France where he joined 142 Squadron, operating Fairey Battles at Berry-au-Bac, on 29th November 1939. The squadron was withdrawn to England on 15th June 1940.

In August Boulding volunteered to transfer to Fighter Command and he joined 74 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on the 21st. He damaged a Ju88 on 14th September and damaged a Do17 on the 24th.

He shared in the destruction of a Do17 on 5th October 1940, destroyed a Me109 on 5th December, probably destroyed a Me109 and damaged another on 7th May 1941 and shot down a He111 at night on 10th/11th May, which crash-landed in a field near Ashford, Kent.

On a sweep over the French coast on 17th June 1941, Boulding was shot down in Spitfire W3251 by a Me109. He baled out and was taken prisoner. At some time he was held in Stalag Luft 3.

Released in May 1945, Boulding went to 6(P) AFU on 25th September and was then posted to 10 OTU Abingdon on 12th February 1946. He converted to Lancasters at 1553 Heavy Conversion Unit at North Luffenham and took command of 35 Squadron at Stradishall on 30th January 1947. He was posted away to HQ Bomber Command on 22nd October 1948.

Boulding went to 203 AFT Driffield in May 1950, followed by two months at the Central Fighter Establishment at West Raynham after which he took command of 249 Squadron on 24th October 1950. The squadron operated Vampires at Deversoir, Egypt. He commanded the squadron until 2nd May 1953.

He retired from the RAF on 29th November 1966 as a Wing Commander.

Boulding died on 2nd March 1993.

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