The Airmen's Stories - P/O G H A Wellum
Geoffrey Harry Augustus Wellum was born in Walthamstow, London on 14th August 1921, the son of Percy Horace and Edith Jane (nee Freeman) Wellum.
PH Wellum, a wine merchant, had served in the RNVR at Gallipoli and obtained his pilot's licence at the Herts & Essex Aero Club in 1932 when he was 40 years old.
GHA Wellum was educated at Forest School in nearby Snaresbrook.
He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training on 14th August 1939 at 7 E&RFTS Desford.
He went to No. 1 RAF Depot, Uxbridge on 23rd October for a short induction course.
Wellum moved to 6 FTS Little Rissington for No. 16 Course, which ran from 6th November 1939 to 20th May 1940. With his training completed, he joined 92 Squadron at Northolt on 21st May 1940. He was detached to RAF Uxbridge on the 22nd for a short R/T procedure course.
On 11th September 1940 Wellum destroyed a He111, on the 27th he shared in the destruction of a Ju88, on 2nd November he damaged two Me109's and on the 17th he shared in damaging a Me109.
Still with 92 Squadron, he damaged a Me109 on 26th June 1941, probably destroyed another on 8th July and destroyed another on the 9th.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 5th August 1941) and posted away to 52 OTU Aston Down as an instructor.
In February 1942 Wellum was posted to 65 Squadron at Debden as a Flight Commander. He was posted to Malta in late July and embarked on the carrier HMS Furious at a Scottish port.
On 11th August he led eight Spitfires off to Luqa, where he joined the recently-formed 1435 Flight as a Flight Commander. He became ill and was repatriated to England by air.
After a long leave Wellum became a test pilot at Gloster Aircraft, testing Typhoons. He later became a gunnery instructor, continuing this duty until the end of the war.
Wellum retired from the RAF on 30th June 1961 as a Flight Lieutenant, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.
He joined a firm of commodity brokers in London.
Wellum wrote his reminiscences, First Light, published in 2002.
He died on 18th July 2018 in Mullion, Cornwall.