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Západ slunce nad AN2

Tales of men and machine

John Eric Boulton

Boulton John - Čeští RAFáci 450x600.jpg

John E. Boulton, 1940  (Čeští RAFáci)

*24.11.1919 Bosham, West Sussex (Great Britain - England)

† 9/9/1940  Wallington near London  (Great Britain - England)

Gifted graduate of military training, excellent instructor, fighter pilot.

He graduated from the grammar school (Grammar School) in Hastings and from 1936 he worked in the London factory of the Buick Motor Company. In October 1937 he enlisted in the Royal Air Force, entered the aeronautical school (Havilland School of Flying) in Hatfield and went through a basic course on De Havilland Tiger Moth biplanes. Then from January 22, 1938, he continued at No. 2 Flying Training School in Briz Norton and although he was the youngest pupil, he showed the best results. On 20 August he entered service with 29 Fighter Squadron based with its two-seat Hawker Demon biplanes at Debden Air Force Base. Already on October 23, he was sent to a flight instructor course at the Central Flying School in Upavon. Two months later he returned to the 2nd FTS as a flying instructor. As the war approached, the pace of training increased. In the spring of 1939, they switched from older Hawker Hart biplanes to powerful North American Harvard machines.


At the beginning of the summer of 1940, after the French capitulation, many Czechoslovak airmen came to Great Britain and were gradually accepted into the Royal Air Force. Fighters in particular had to be retrained as soon as possible on British machines so that they could join the defense in the battle that was already beginning to develop. On July 10, the 310th Czechoslovak Regiment was formed. fighter squadron and subsequently an experienced young instructor, Flying Officer (F/O) J. Boulton, nicknamed "Boy", arrived at the Duxford base near Cambridge. Intensive training took place first on Avro Tutor and then Miles Master machines. After mastering them, the pilots continued on the Hawker Hurricane Mk. Even with NN codes on the hulls. Thanks to great progress, the squadron was declared combat-ready on 17 August and carried out its first operational mission on the same day. They soon achieved a number of victories, but also suffered losses. Boulton was supposed to go back to the 2nd SFTS, but he also wanted to fight, he applied to HQ for permission and finally succeeded. Already on August 20, he took off for the first time alongside ours - he led the patrol of the green section with P/O F. Hradil and P/O E. Fechtner on the wings. When the German Luftwaffe launched its first major raid on London on 7 September, the Duxford Wing (ie 242nd, 19th and 310th Squadrons) was sent to defend. In a fierce fight, F/O J. Boulton attacked a group of twin-engine Heinkel He 111 bombers and one of them crashed after accurate hits to the engine. 


On Monday, September 9, at 5:05 p.m., Třistasítka took off on an alarm and headed with the entire wing to the area of the North Weald base near London. Just before the start of the attack on the bombers, F/Lt G. Sinclair commanded to turn right, but when observing the approaching Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters, he swerved sharply to the opposite side... F/O J. Boulton flying Hurricane Mk. Even P3888 in the tight formation behind him did not have time to react and a collision occurred. Both broken machines crashed into a twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110 when they fell, which also went to the ground. Sinclair managed to bail out at around 6,000m while the second Hurricane, with the pilot collapsed in the cockpit, fell limply down and disintegrated at Wallington, south London.


The remains of F/O John E. Boulton were interred at the local Brandon Hill Cemetery.

War Service Medal

Czechoslovak War Cross 1939



  • Memorial tree and plaque at Duxford Airport


References for additional information

Joe, Čeští RAFáci, 2023

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