Sergeant Roy William Bell

Bomb Aimer - 12 Squadron

With thanks to his daughter Olwen

30 OTU - Seighford
Sgt George Anderson, Sgt Roy Bell, F/O Meryvn Gillman, P/O Herbert Pearson & Sgt Andrew 'Stan' Miller


Roy William Bell volunteered for the RAF in March 1941, eventually training as a bomb aimer in Canada and America. He was posted to 30 OTU at Seighford in Staffordshire in late October 1942, progressing to 1656 HCU in March 1943 and transferring to 12 Squadron at Wickenby on 14th April 1943, around 3 weeks ahead of my grandfather.

Olwen explains: "My parents met whilst Roy was stationed at Seighford. Ellen Craig lived with her parents Jim and Amy Craig in the nearby village of Derrington. My grandfather operated a van delivery service as well as a taxi service for airmen from the camps at Hixon and Seighford. My grandmother kept open house for all the 'boys' who were far from their own homes and my mother and her sister were regular attendees at the camp dances, which is where she was literally 'swept off her feet' by Roy.

My father's tour of operations finished in October 1943 and they were married at Seighford in January 1944.

There is a sad post script to this story. Mervyn Durham Gillman DFC, the pilot with my father's crew, was killed in a flying accident on the way to my parent's wedding, his date of death was 16th January. Roy and Ellen were married on 17th January but were not told of Mervyn's death until after the wedding. How tragic that such a courageous young airman should survive 30 flights over enemy territory only to die on his way to a celebration in England. My mother believes he flew into power lines or a radio mast in the Daventry area but I am not sure if that would be recorded anywhere."

Roy Bell died in 1987.

Two fabulous photographs probably taken by Roy and almost certainly at Wickenby

Roy William Bell