207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
RONALD EDGAR CHARLES BUCK
25 Feb 1922 - 2 Jul 2001
1939-45 Star, Aircrew Europe, Italy Star, War Service Medal, and Pathfinder Force Badge
Ron passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, on Monday 2nd July 2001 in Princess Margaret Hospital, aged 79 years.
Much cherished and beloved husband of Betty, caring father to Peter, Paul and Ronnie, much loved brother to Ross, Joan and Anne, a dear Grampy to Jason, Lucy, Martin, Mathew, Douglas and Abigail, and a loving Father-in-Law to Margaret, Beverley and Kim and Uncle to Debbie, David, and Richard.
Funeral Service at St Andrews Church, Blunsdon Abbey, followed by a Cremation at Kingsdown on Friday 13th July 2001, beginning 1.00pm.
Family flowers only and donations to The British Heart Foundation or RAF Benevolent Fund via the Hillier Funeral Service Limited, Tel: 01793 522797.
Address by Ron Winton at the funeral of Ron Buck, 13th July 2001
It was Friday the 9th of May 1980 when I met Ron for the first time. By the time I joined 207 Squadron in July 1944, Ron had left and had finished his tour of operations with No 97 Pathfinder Squadron much earlier. On that Friday we both stood at the roadside overlooking RAF Kemble airfield awaiting the take off of the BBMF Lancaster after the completion of its winter service. Ron stood there with his photographer son, Peter.
After a while I noted Ron was wearing an Air Gunners Association tie, so I sidled up to him and said "Air Gunners Association ?": he said "that's right mate" in his Cockniest of cockney voices. I said "me too". It's strange how one tends to bond to a person when one hears the same accent as your own. Ron and I were both Londoners and both suffered the Blitz in 1940. I quizzed him further: "what squadron were you with?" - "207" was the reply, I said "me too". The bond was now very strong. The time between then and the Lancaster taking off was spent reminiscing about our time with 207. We swapped names and addresses and promised to keep in touch.
The next time we met was at Northolt in September 1983 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a particular operation to Berlin. From that celebratory meeting our Association was formed. I became the Membership Secretary and shortly afterwards I managed to talk Ron into becoming the Treasurer after the post became vacant. Ron occupied the post for 10 years and during that time on almost every Tuesday morning he telephoned me for an update. The phone would ring, I would answer and the greeting was always the same: "ello me old mate". Everyone was Ron's old mate, he was indeed a unique character. I think when they finished making him they broke the mould, I never met anyone quite like him.
During those 10 years as Treasurer Ron was full of life, game for anything and never ceased telling his humorous stories, mostly about his squadron days. Most of us heard them many times but they were always a laugh the way he told them. Ron and Betty's home was the venue for committee meetings on a number of occasions and we were always made very welcome. Also during that time Ron and Betty and Eileen and I had many enjoyable lunchtime outings but after he retired from the committee because of failing health our outings became fewer.
At the Northolt meeting in September 1983 there were 13 ex wartime squadron members present, I call them the founder members of our Association. With Ron's sad passing there are now just 4 of us left, we will miss him.
Finally as the Association's Secretary may I convey to you Betty and your family the sincere condolences of the Association membership. Our thoughts are with you all and our hopes are that given time you will all be able to come to terms with your very sad loss. God Bless.
RONALD EDGAR CHARLES BUCK
Like so many of his generation, in World War II Ron Buck volunteered for aircrew in the Royal Air Force and served in Bomber Command. On completion of air gunnery training Ron crewed up as rear gunner with Peter Drane (pilot): Roger Bowen (flight engineer), John Donald (wireless operator), John Henderson (mid-upper air gunner), C.G. Trotman (navigator) and Leslie Wagner (bomb aimer).
In July 1943 the crew were posted operational to 207 Squadron, then based at Langar, Notts, moving in September 1943 to Spilsby, Lincs. Flying in Avro Lancasters, Peter Drane and his crew completed 18 operational trips with 207, all to German Cities during what has been called the Battle of Berlin. At the end of January 1944 the crew transferred to 97 Squadron in the elite Pathfinder Force with whom they completed their operational tour of 30 operations. When the war ended Ron left the Royal Air Force with the rank of Warrant Officer.
Peter James Drane DFC was killed on active service with 139 Squadron on 15th January 1945. Still only 22 years of age, he was by then a Flight Lieutenant and is buried in Harrow (Pinner) New Cemetery. Ron and Betty named their son Peter after him.
Ron Buck was a founding member of the 207 Squadron RAF Association, which was formed in 1984 and became its Honorary Treasurer. When he gave up the post in 1994 the Association elected him an Honorary Life Member in appreciation. In July 1993 Ron represented the 207 Association in the unveiling in Le Bouveret, Switzerland of a memorial to a 207 Squadron crew. On 31 March 1994 Ron again was the Association's representative at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Nuremburg raid, held at the RAF Memorial at Runnymede to those Royal Air Forces airmen who have No Known Grave.
Ron Buck jr's readings
"....Ad Astra" (Towards The Stars)
by Molly Corbally
I took my leave of earth and men,
And soared aloft the lonely sky,
Thro' the gathering dark, to the silent stars,
And the whisper of angels passing by.
I heard the beat of Angel's wings,
In the silent watch of the starlit night,
I felt His touch, and I heard His Voice,
I, Man communed with the infinite.
Men are sighing, and women weep,
Ah! Foolish friends, do not grieve for me,
For I heard God call in the silent night,
And flew on, into Eternity.
"What we call the beginning
is often the end
And to make an end
is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from."
last updated 19th July 2001