Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal R Bullen (125303)

Reginald          b:   19 Oct 1920                      r:   19 Oct 1975                d:  27 Jan 2008

CB - 1 Jan 1975, GM - 14 Sep 1945, MA, FCMI

(RAFVR): AC2: xx xxx xxxx, LAC: xx xxx xxxx, Plt Off:  28 Jun 1942, Fg Off (WS):  28 Dec 1942, Flt Lt (WS): 28 Jun 1944,

(RAF): Fg Off:   1 Jan 1947 [28 Jun 1944], Flt Lt: 2 Jan 1947 [28 Dec 1946], Sqn Ldr:  1 Jul 1952, Wg Cdr:  1 Jul 1959, Gp Capt:  1 Jan1965, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1969, Act AVM: 13 May 1972, AVM: 1 Jul 1972

xx xxx 1940:               U/T Navigator, (1383279) Pan-AM Scheme, USA

28 Jun 1942:              Appointed to an Emergency Commission in the General Duties Branch, RAFVR

xx xxx xxxx:               Navigator, No ? OTU

xx xxx xxxx:               Navigator, No 39 Sqn (Beauforts)

xx xxx xxxx:               Navigator, No 458 Sqn (Wellingtons)

19 Apr 1944:             Hospitalised and Recuperation

xx xxx xxxx:               Attended RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1947:              Staff Officer, P7 (Technical Administration of Selection Boards)

xx xxx 1948:              Staff Officer, Deputy Directorate of Selection, Air Ministry

 1 Jan 1947:               Appointed to a Permanent Commission and transferred to the Secretarial Branch in the rank of Flying Officer

xx xxx xxxx:               Instructor, RAF College Cranwell

xx xxx 1956:              Attached to US Intelligence Agency.

 3 Dec 1958:              Directing Staff, RAF Staff College

12 May 1962:            Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff

xx xxx xxxx:               Attended NATO Defence College.

13 Sep 1965:            Adjutant General/Chief - Administrative Services Branch, HQ Allied Forces Central Europe

xx xxx xxxx:               Attended Imperial Defence College

13 May 1972:           AOA, HQ Training Command

Before the war he was working towards becoming a solicitor but with the outbreak of war he volunteered for the RAF and began training as a navigator in the USA.  After spending a year recovering from his injuries (see below) he was unable to continue flying but was transferred to administrative duties and was awarded a permanent commission in 1947.

He arrived at HQ AAFCE shortly before NATO was ordered to leave France by President De Gaulle and Reginald Bullen had to oversee the relocation of the HQ to Holland.

On retirement from the RAF he was appointed as a Fellow and senior bursar of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Citation for the award of the George Medal

"Flight Lieutenant Reginald BULLEN (125303), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

On the night of the 19th April 1944, this officer was navigator of a Wellington aircraft which crashed on landing and burst into flames. The aircraft was totally destroyed and four members of the crew were killed.  Flight Lieutenant Bullen was thrown through the side of the aircraft as it burst open and sustained fractures of the left leg and right arm and a slight fracture of the spine.  The heat was intense and ammunition was exploding. There was also the additional danger that eight depth charges might explode at any moment.  Despite  this and his severe injuries Flight Lieutenant Bullen made his way inside the blazing aircraft to the wireless operator and dragged him to a safe distance, clear of the flames.  When  the ambulance arrived on the scene Flight Lieutenant Bullen was in great pain and was quickly removed to sick quarters. His very brave and gallant action, performed when suffering such intense pain from his own injuries, undoubtedly saved the life of the wireless operator."

(London Gazette 14 September 1945)

This page was last updated on 08/06/17 using FrontPage 2003

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