The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J E Boulton
John Eric Boulton was born at Bosham, Sussex on 24th November 1919, the son of Charles and Annie Boulton.
His father had been a Warrant Officer in the XIth Hussars before the Great War and was later commissioned in the Sussex Yeomanry, serving in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine. He died in a car crash in 1929.
Educated at a secondary school in Lewes and then Hastings Grammar School, Boulton worked for the Buick Motor Company in London.
He joined the RAF on a short service commission in October 1937 and began his flying training at No. 1 E&RFTS, Hatfield on the 25th. After a two week basic training course at No. 1 RAF Depot, Uxbridge Boulton was posted to 2 FTS, Brize Norton on 22nd January 1938.
After completing his training, Boulton joined 29 Squadron at Debden on 20th August 1938 and moved to CFS, Upavon on 23rd October for an instructor's course. He returned to 2 FTS on 23rd December 1938 as a QFI.
(L to R) F/Lt. JE Boulton, F.Lt. J Jeffries, F/Lt. GL Sinclair
Boulton was attached to 310 Squadron at Duxford on 11th July 1940 to check the newly-arrived Czech pilots and help their conversion to Hurricanes. When 310 Squadron became operational in mid-August, Boulton asked if he could fly on operational sorties and was given consent by the Air Ministry.
He shared a He111 on 7th September with Sergeant DA Helcke of 504 Squadron. The enemy aircraft crashed on to Goodwin Sands.
In an engagement over Croydon on the 9th, Boulton collided with Hurricane R4084, flown by F/Lt. GL Sinclair. Boulton lost control and struck a Me110 amidships. He did not bale out. The Hurricane crashed and burst into flames in Woodmansterne Lane, Woodmansterne.
Sinclair was able to bale out, coming down at Caterham.
Boulton is buried in Bandon Hill Cemetery, Beddington, Surrey. He was awarded the Czech Military Cross (gazetted 10th January 1941).