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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. C A Ream


Charles Alfred Ream was born on 21st January 1916 in Doncaster with a twin brother, Thomas Edward John (see below). Their father, Private Alfred Denis Ream, had served with the Yorkshire Light Infantry but was serving with the Machine Gun Corps when he was killed in action on the Western Front on 8th February 1917. He is buried at Serre Road Cemetery No. 1, Pas de Calais.

CA Ream joined the RAFVR about August 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and joined 235 Squadron at Bircham Newton on 19th August 1940.


Above: TEJ Ream (at left), CA Ream.


On 19th November Ream was posted with his flight to RAF Aldergrove, where it was combined with a flight from 236 Squadron to reform 272 Squadron. Ream flew his first sortie with 272 on 8th December 1940.

It has been difficult to trace his further wartime service but he is known to have been aboard Beaufighter T3317 of 272 Squadron which force-landed in Jerez, Spain on 24th May 1941 while on a ferry flight to Gibraltar. The pilot, S/Ldr. AW Fletcher, Sgt. Gallimore and Ream were interned.

They must have been released relatively quickly as S/Ldr. Fletcher, a Canadian, was in action again on 28th July 1941, when as CO of 272 Squadron he led an attack on Borizo airfield in Sicily.

Ream is also recorded as being injured on 27th December 1941 in a 272 Squadron crash, his rank at this time was Warrant Officer.

In October 2019 the daughter of TEJ Ream informed us that CA Ream had served in Egypt at some time and while there contracted polio. He was invalided home but died from the virus on 26th April 1947.




Thomas Edward John Ream joined the RAFVR in January 1939 and was called to full time service on 1st September 1939. After basic training he went to 1 EFTS Hatfield, going on to 5 SFTS Sealand on 6th July 1940.

On 29th September 1940 he was posted to 7 OTU Hawarden and went on to his first squadron posting, 616 at Kirton-in-Lindsey, on 14th October 1940.

The dates of his subsequent service are currently undocumented but his next posting was 72 Squadron followed by 92 Squadron.

He shared in the destruction of a Ju87 when Stuka J9 + BK of 2./StG1 was shot down just outside Manston airfield on 5th February 1941. Lt. E Schimmelpfennig and OberGf. H Kaden were killed.


Above L to R: P/O CH Saunders, Sgt. TEJ Ream, Sgt.H Bowen-Morris, Sgt. RH Fokes.


This was followed by a posting to 56 Squadron before joining 185 Squadron in Malta in July 1941. He served with them until 3rd March 1942 when he was posted to the HQ at Valetta for a short stay before going to 71 OTU at Gordons Tree in the Sudan as an instructor.

His service ended with postings to 123 Squadron, 53 OTU and finally 771 (FAA) Squadron. He was commissioned on 14th July 1944 and was released from the RAF as a Flying Officer.

TEJ Ream died in 1980.

Both men are buried in Scartho cemetery in Grimsby.






Additional research and images courtesy of Virginia Smith ( daughter of TEJ and niece of CA Ream).



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