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Air Vice Marshal Sir Willet Bowen-Buscarlet (05108)

Willet Amalric Bowen         b: 28 May 1898            r: 8 Jan 1946            d: 18 Sep 1967

KBE - 11 Jun 1960 (CBE - 2 Jun 1943), CB - 1 Jun 1953, DFC – 26 Jun 1931, MiD - 1 Jan 1943, DL (County Palatinate of Lancaster) - 22 Oct 1951

(Army):- 2 Lt: 10 May 1916, Lt: 10 Nov 1917.

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Obs Off: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Fg Off: 13 Apr 1921, Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1925, Sqn Ldr: 1 Feb 1934, Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Sep 1940, Act A/Cdre: 19 May 1942?, Gp Capt (WS): 19 Nov 1942, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1943, Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1943, Act AVM: 26 Mar 1944 - 12 Jun 1945, A/Cdre (WS): 26 Mar 1945, AVM: Retained.

Photograph by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, July 1945
NPG x165398

© National Portrait Gallery, London

xx xxx xxxx:           Attended Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

10 May 1916:          Officer, Royal Garrison Artillery.

xx xxx 1917:           Attended Observers' Course (UK) 

5 Dec 1917:            U/T Observer, No 53 Sqn, RFC

25 Mar 1918:           Flying Officer (Observer), RFC.

 1 Apr 1918:             Observer Officer, RAF

20 Apr 1918:            Observer, No 53 Sqn (RE8 - Western Front)

17 Jun 1918:             Returned to Home Establishment

28 May 1919:           Attached, No 1 AR

28 May 1919:           Observer, No 5 Sqn

xx xxx 1919:           Officer, Royal Garrison Artillery

13 Apr 1921:            Granted a Temporary Commission on re-seconding to the RAF

30 May 1921:           U/T Pilot, No 4 FTS.

19 Dec 1921:           Pilot, No 31 Sqn. (? – India)

15 Jul 1922:             Supernumerary (Non-Effective - Sick), RAF Depot

15 Dec 1922:           Pilot, No 24 Sqn. (Various types – Hendon)

12 Nov 1924:          Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer

29 Dec 1924:           QFI, RAF College.

26 Oct 1925:           QFI, Central Flying School.

21 Dec 1928:           Supernumerary, HQ RAF Middle East.

10 Jan 1929:            Flight Commander, No 47 Sqn.

17 May 1929:          Officer Commanding, No 47 Sqn (Temporary)

17 Dec 1930:           QFI, No 4 FTS.

27 Oct 1932:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

10 - 21 Jan 1933:    Placed on half pay list, scale B

23 Jan 1933:            Attended RAF Staff College.

 5 - 7 Jan 1934:        Placed on half pay list, scale A

22 Jan 1934:            Air Staff, Directorate of Training.

 1 Jan 1936:             CFI, No 10 FTS.

15 Mar 1938:          Officer Commanding (Temp), RAF Scampton.

30 Nov 1938:          Deputy OC, RAF Scampton.

12 Dec 1938:           Officer Commanding, No 49 Sqn.

13 Feb 1939:           Air Staff, HQ Bomber Command.

 5 Jun 1940:             Officer Commanding, No 13 OTU/RAF Bicester

10 Jul 1941:             ?

10 Oct 1941:           SASO, AHQ Malta.

xx Oct 1942:            AOA, AHQ Malta?

xx xxx 1943:            Chief of Planning Staff, Turkey.

xx xxx 1944:            AOC, Allied Control Commission, Italy.

Born as W A B Buscarlet he changed name to Bowen-Buscarlet between June 1926 and June 1927.  Whilst serving at No 4 FTS, he was detached to take part in operations in the Kordofan Province of the Sudan. In 1930 No 47 Squadron provided aircraft to carry the Prince of Wales from a hunting trip in East Africa to Khartoum and Flt Ly Bowen-Buscarlet acted as his pilot.  He was awarded the CB and was knighted for his services as Chairman of the East Lancashire Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

"The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Flight Lieutenant Willett Amalric Bowen BOWEN-BUSCARLET in recognition of gallant and distinguished service rendered in connection with military operations in the Kordofan Province of the Sudan, during the period 16th December, 1929, to 4th January, 1930."

(London Gazette - 26 June 1931)

Air 30/89, has the following citation.

"For outstanding energy, courage and determination displayed throughout the operations of the Sudan Defence Force against the Nuba of Jebel Lafofa in Southern Kordofan between 16th December 1929 and 4th January 1930.  This officer commanded the Royal Air Force Flight engaged in these operations with conspicuous success.  He led ten effective air raids over most difficult country and also gained valuable information by serial reconnaissance.  At Eliri on 3rd January 1930, his personal effort in obtaining the services of a British medical officer to attend a fellow officer who was in a dangerous condition was largely instrumental in saving this officer’s life." 

Recommendation for an AFC (Not awarded)

Air 2/1027 has recommendation for an AFC raised 13 September 1930 by the Commanding Officer, No.47 Squadron, in which he was a Flight Commander: -

"During the last twelve months this officer has flown for more than 500 hours over swamp, waterless forest and desert in the course of normal Squadron duty and in all weathers.  By his gallant conduct he has set a high standard, most notably by the dash he showed during the recent air operations against the NURAS at TALODI, and by the vigour with which he has prosecuted the best interests of the Royal Air Force in the Sudan."

This page was last updated on 29/10/22©

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