The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. D C Bunch
Douglas Campbell Bunch was born on 1st February 1920 and joined 615 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in March 1938 as an Aircrafthand. He was called up on 24th August 1939 and remustered as an Air Gunner. After completing his gunnery training he was posted to 219 Squadron at Catterick on 2nd August 1940.
Bunch retrained as a Radar Operator in late 1940 and flew his first sortie in a Beaufighter on 7th January 1941. He was still serving with 219 Squadron when he was commissioned in January 1942.
Late in the year he teamed up with F/Lt. JE Willson and they had their first victory, a Do217, on 3rd February 1943. They destroyed two Do217's and probably another on 11th March and a Do217 and an unidentified enemy aircraft on 15th March.
Bunch and Willson went with a squadron detachment to Malta in May 1943. During the night of 29th/30th June they shot down a He111 into the sea off Sicily and on 3rd/4th July they destroyed a Ju88 in the same area.
Soon afterwards Bunch returned to the UK and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 13th July 1943).
Above L to R: Brothers George Bunch, Frederick Edward Bunch and Douglas Campbell Bunch.
In 1944 Bunch was posted to 157 Squadron at Swannington. In September he teamed up with F/Lt. RD Doleman. During the night of the 12th/13th they destroyed a Me110 on a high-level support patrol over the Frankfurt area.
On 19th/20th October they shot down a Ju88 and damaged another, on 6th/7th November they destroyed two Me110s and a Ju88 and in three nights from 22nd to 24th December they claimed three Me110s and a Ju88 destroyed and another Ju88 probably destroyed. Their final victory came during the night of 14th/15th March 1945 with another Ju88 destroyed.
Bunch was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 9th March 1945) and the DSO (gazetted 21st September 1945).
Above: In 1945 Bunch married Miss Barbara Hall, daughter of the Rt. Rev Hall, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney in St. Andrews Cathedral, Aberdeen. Flight Lieutenant HP Kelway was the best man.
He stayed on in the RAF postwar and retired on 1st May 1968 as a Squadron Leader, retaining the rank of Wing Commander.
Bunch died on 5th December 1972, it is believed from a heart attack.
All images courtesy of Susan Bunch (niece).