Name:  Wellum, Geoffrey Harry Augustus (Service number: 42925)
Date of birth: August 4th, 1921 (Walthamstow/Greater London, Great Britain)
Nationality:  British
Wellum was educated at Forest School, Snaresbrook and joined the RAF straight from school. He was seventeen when he signed up on a short-service commission in August 1939. After receiving his wings, he was still only 18 years.
He was then posted directly in May 1940 to 92 Squadron, flying Spitfires; an airplane he had never even seen before, let alone flown one. He did not see any action over France or Dunkirk as he wasn't assessed ready for operational flying.
He saw extensive action during the Battle of Britain though. His first Commanding Officer was Roger Bushell, (Bushell later became famous as the leader of the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III POW camp, after which he was executed by the Gestapo), and his close colleagues included Brian Kingcome.
On 11 August 1942, Wellum led 8 Spitfires launched from the carrier HMS Furious to reinforce the fighter complement to Luqa airfield on Malta. Here he joined 1435 Squadron on air defence duties before being rested after a severe bout of sinusitis.
Wellum suffered severe combat fatigue after three years intensive flying, because of the immense strain that frontline British fighter pilots were put under during that period. He returned from Malta to Britain, becoming a test pilot on the Hawker Typhoon, based at Gloster Aircraft.
He finished the war as a gunnery instructor, staying in the RAF, first as a staff officer in West Germany, followed by a four year tour with 192 Squadron.
Wellum left the Royal Air Force in 1961, working with a firm of commodity brokers in the City of London, set up his own business, and then retired to Mullion, Cornwall.
Wellum wrote a widely acclaimed book about his experiences during World War II, entitled 'First Light' which was produced into a television docmentary and went on air in September 2010.

October 23th, 1939: Acting Pilto Officer (probation)
May 20th, 1940: Pilot Officer (probation)
August 14th, 1940: Pilot Officer
May 20th, 1941: Flying Officer (war sub)
May 20th, 1942: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
Rank: Flying Officer
Unit: No. 92 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: August 5th, 1941
Action: Citation:
"This officer has been with his squadron since the evacuation from Dunkirk. During the recent offensive operations over France he has led his section and flight with great skill and determination. He has destroyed at least three enemy aircraft and damaged several others."
1939-1945 STAR
Details: With "BATTLE OF BRITAIN" clasp.
WAR MEDAL 1939-1945
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Information source(s):   - SHORES, CH., Those Other Eagles, Grub Street, London, 2004.
- The London Gazette Issue 35238 published on the 5 August 1941
- Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
- Wikipedia
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