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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R F Bumstead


Ronald Frederick Bumstead was born at Shipbourne, Kent on 7th August 1915.

He joined the RAF as an Airman u/t Rigger (Airframes) in September 1935. After training he was posted to 74 Squadron at Hornchurch in September 1936 as an AC1 Rigger.

In February 1937 he went to 64 Squadron at Martlesham Heath for flying and ground duties as a Rigger/Air Gunner.



Above: 111 Squadron L to R: Sgt. RF Bumstead, unknown, Sgt. OW Porter, Sgt. G Dawick, unknown, WO PM Blaize, Carnall, F/O PJ Simpson, Sgt. MJ Mansfeld, (Sitting) F/Lt. HS Giddings (and dog).



He applied for pilot training and was selected in May 1938. On 10th August 1939 he was sent to 12 E&RFTS Prestwick and then moved on to 3 FTS South Cerney on 23rd October for No. 30 Course, which ended on 27th April 1940.

Bumstead went to 5 OTU Aston Down on 3rd May, converted to Blenheims and then joined 29 Squadron at Debden on 8th June. He was posted to 6 OTU on 16th July for conversion to Hurricanes after which he joined 17 Squadron at Debden on the 18th.

Bumstead moved to 111 Squadron, also at Debden, on 26th August 1940. He was detached to RAF Kenley, possibly to the Kenley Sector Training Flight, until 14th September, when he rejoined the squadron, which had moved north to Drem.

Bumstead was posted from 111, then at Dyce, on 21st December 1940 to 605 Squadron at Croydon. On the 28th he was posted to 57 OTU Hawarden as an instructor.

He went to 60 (Night Fighter) OTU at Leconfield on 13th June 1941 and joined the recently-formed 409 (RCAF) Squadron at Coleby Grange on 18th July.

On 23rd August 1941 he married Eileen May Hall at St. Giles, Shipbourne.

In mid-September 1941 he was posted to 1451 Turbinlite Flight at Hunsdon and on 9th December Bumstead went to 287 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Croydon.

He was commissioned from Warrant Officer in October 1943 and on 15th December joined 525 Squadron, newly-formed with Warwicks.

Bumstead's last posting was on 5th September 1944 to 147 Squadron, then being reformed at Croydon for transport duties with Dakotas.

He was awarded the AFC (gazetted 1st January 1946) and released from the RAF in June 1946.

Bumstead joined Sabena Airlines in December.

In May 1953 he became an Inspector of Air Accidents and in June 1955 he joined the Goodyear Tyre Company, in the Aviation Division.

Bumstead died on 1st October 1977.


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