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Paul Ward Spencer Bulman
1896 – 6 May 1963
Nickname George
Place of birth Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Place of death Surrey, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1915–1925
Rank Honorary Group Captain
Unit Honourable Artillery Company
Royal Flying Corps
Royal Aircraft Establishment
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross
Air Force Cross & Bar
Other work Test pilot and company director

Group Captain Paul Ward Spencer Bulman CBE, MC, AFC and Bar (1896 - 6 May 1963), universally known as George Bulman, was a pilot whose flying life spanned thirty years (1915-1945).


Early years

Bulman was born in Luton in 1896 the son of Thomas and Eveline Bulman, his father was a Church of England clergyman.[1]

First World War

He transferred from the Honourable Artillery Company to the Royal Flying Corps early in the First World War. He continued in the Royal Air Force until 1925 and was a test pilot in the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough from 1919 to 1925.

He was awarded the Military Cross in 1918 with the following citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On five occasions; in most difficult weather conditions, he dropped bombs and fired on enemy infantry from a low altitude, inflicting heavy casualties. During these flights he frequently obtainer valuable information, and twice drove off enemy machines which attempted to interfere. He showed the greatest initiative and resource.


Between the wars

In 1925, he resigned his permanent commission[3] and transferred to the reserve as a Flight Lieutenant[4] to become the Chief Test Pilot at Hawker Aircraft (and its forerunner) from 1925 to 1945 and became a director of the company in 1935. He won several air races in the mid 1920s flying the Hawker Cygnet.

He made the first flight for the following Hawker aircraft and tested many other types.

Second World War

During the Second World War, in 1941 and 1942, he was head of the test branch of the British Air Commission in Washington D.C. and was appointed an honorary Group Captain.[5]

Honours and awards

His medals and awards include appointment as Commander of the Order of the British Empire,[6] the Air Force Cross and Bar,[7] and the Military Cross.[8]


His son, Raymond Paul Bulman, was killed in action over Germany in 1945, aged 21, flying with No. 605 Squadron RAF.[9]


  1. ^ 1901 Census of Luton, RG 13/1515, Folio 14, Page 19, Peter W.S. Bulman, 8 Union Street, Luton, Bedfordshire.
  2. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30780, p. 7899, 5 July. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  3. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33076, p. 5499, 18 August 1925. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 33076, p. 5500, 18 August 1925. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 35176, p. 3105, 30 May 1941. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  6. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35841, p. 15, 29 December 1942. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  7. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31974, p. 7422, 12 July 1920. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  8. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30507, p. 1602, 4 February 1918. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  9. ^ Casualty details—Bulman, Raymond Paul, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. REtrieved on 29 December 2009.


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