Cyril Stanley Bamberger

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Cyril Stanley Bamberger
Birth name Cyril Stanley Bamberger
Nickname(s) Bam
Born (1919-05-04)4 May 1919
Hyde, Cheshire
Died 3 February 2008(2008-02-03) (aged 88)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1936–1959
Rank Squadron Leader
Service number 810024 (airman)
116515 (officer)

World War II

Korean War

Aden Emergency
Other work
  • Guinness Management
  • Founder of a packaging materials Company
  • Antiques Business

Cyril Stanley "Bam" Bamberger DFC* AE* (1919–2008) was a Royal Air Force pilot who fought in the Battle of Britain, the Defence of Malta and the Korean War.

Early life[edit]

Bamberger was born in Hyde, Cheshire, and educated locally.[1] He left school in 1934, aged 14, and joined Lever Brothers as an electrical apprentice.[2]

In 1936 he volunteered for the Auxiliary Air Force and was posted to the bomber squadron, No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron AuxAF (Auxiliary Air Force), as a photographer. Bamberger was accepted for pilot training with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) in 1938 (Service No. 810024).

Second World War Service[edit]

Bamberger was called to full-time service on the outbreak of war, completed his training and rejoined his former squadron, now with Spitfires, at RAF Biggin Hill on 27 July 1940, as a Sergeant Pilot. Bamberger flew with 610 Sqn during the early air fighting over the Channel that followed the Dunkirk evacuation. The squadron suffered heavy casualties but Bamberger was credited with a "probable" Messerschmitt Me109 on 28 August in combat off the Kent coast.[1]

When 610 Sqn was withdrawn to rest in mid-September 1940, Bamberger was posted to No. 41 Squadron RAF at Hornchurch and was soon back in action in the Battle of Britain. He was credited with his first confirmed combat victory, again an Me109, over Canterbury on 5 October.

With the Battle of Britain winding down, Bamberger volunteered for Malta. He flew Hurricanes with No. 261 Squadron RAF from Hal Far from late November 1940 and was credited with shooting down two Junkers Ju 87 aircraft over the Grand Harbour in January 1941.

Bamberger joined No. 93 Squadron RAF in 1942 and was deployed to Tunisia. He was commissioned Pilot Officer (No. 116515) on 9 February 1942[3] and promoted to Flying Officer on 1 October 1942.[4] With the same Squadron he returned to Malta in 1943 and was credited with another kill, again a Junkers Ju 87 on 13 July, this time over Sicily.

Bamberger was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) which was gazetted on 28 September 1943.[5][6]

Bamberger was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 9 February 1944,[7] returned to the UK in July 1944 and in November of the same year was awarded the bar to his DFC.[8]

Post Second World War[edit]

Bamberger was released from RAF service in 1946 and he returned to Lever before joining the management of a Guinness subsidiary.

When No. 610 Squadron RAF was reformed as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force unit he rejoined it as a flight commander[9] and was given the rank of Flight Lieutenant.[10] In 1950 he became the squadron's Commanding Officer .[11] having converted to Gloster Meteor aircraft. After the outbreak of the Korean War Bamberger accepted a permanent RAF commission,[12] and for most of the duration of that conflict was an intelligence officer at the Air Ministry. He was promoted to Squadron Leader on 1 January 1957.[13]

Bamberger later converted to flying helicopters and flew the Bristol Sycamore aircraft in Aden.

He finally retired in 1959,[14] after being awarded the Air Efficiency Award and Bar.

Post RAF Life[edit]

After retiring from the RAF in 1959, Bamberger went into business, founding a packaging materials company. He later ran an antiques business. He remained active in RAF matters and was closely involved with the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust, of which he was vice-chairman.[15]

Bamberger died on 3 February 2008, aged 88. He was survived by his wife Heather, whom he married in 1954, and by three sons and a daughter. It was Bam's granddaughter who presented the Duchess of Cornwall with a posy at the unveiling of the Battle of Britain Monument in London on 18 September 2005.

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ "No. 35515". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 April 1942. p. 1562. 
  4. ^ "No. 35809". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 December 1942. p. 5275. 
  5. ^ "No. 36187". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 September 1943. p. 4307. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "No. 36396". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 February 1944. p. 946. 
  8. ^ "No. 36793". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 1944. pp. 5205–5206. 
  9. ^ "No. 38009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1947. p. 3127. 
  10. ^ "No. 38009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1947. p. 3128. 
  11. ^ "No. 39005". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 August 1950. p. 4381. 
  12. ^ "No. 39227". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 May 1951. p. 2705. 
  13. ^ "No. 40964". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1956. p. 68. 
  14. ^ "No. 41622". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 January 1959. p. 808. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "No. 36187". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 September 1943. p. 4307. 
  17. ^ "No. 36793". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 November 1944. p. 5204.