W/C Fulton’s first step towards his dream of flying was at the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland,
California. He had also enjoyed the military life within the British Columbia Hussars; these two passions
brought him to the RAF.
On December 21st 1941 he became the first commanding officer of the 419. He had already participated
with the RAF in many major missions over enemy territory prior to this posting. His cool demeanor
during these missions and his soft spoken ways and mannerisms won him the respectful admiration
of all ranks of the 419 squadron and became part of the legend of the man from Kamloops British Columbia
with the nick name “Moose” which would later be part of the squadron’s emblem and name.
The three entries below from the Operation Log of 419 squadron are from W/C Fulton joining the 419, his loss and the
annoncement of Kamaloops adopting the squadron. The Ops Log seems not to have the page on which that shows X3488 taking off
on it's final mission.
On his final misson on July 29 1942, W/C Fulton and his crew were part of an early morning raid on Hamburg
that found all the aircraft on this mission to be fighting the elements of nature as much as the enemy fighters. Heavy icing as well as thick overcast skies forced a number of the bomber force back to their bases.
More of the story of the last flight of X3488 can be found in the Wellington section of "Downed Aircraft"
His loss can as be seen from the entry in the squadron log was wide spread and deeply felt. He was a man who
commanded such respect that men who were to join the squadron in the years long after he was gone were
still proud to be called “Moosemen”.
W/C John “Moose” Fulton DSO AFC DFC’s awards
Was awarded in September 1940 for his courage and brilliant leadership in the active operations he had taken part in. Citation reads:
"This officer has taken part in twenty major operations over enemy territory since early in June, 1940. On the night of 15th September an attack on the marshalling yards at Brussels was frustrated by the failure of the starboard engine and he turned for home. Later, however, the engine functioned normally and Squadron Leader Fulton decided to resume his mission. He made two successful attacks from 11,000 feet straddling the railway junction with both sticks of bombs. By his persistent determination, outstanding skill and devotion to duty in the face of heavy opposition and many set-backs, Squadron Leader Fulton was able to complete his task."
This test pilot has had two tours of duty with the experimental section, interspaced
with a period of operational flying during the course of which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
During the first posting to the experimental section he was in the research department flight at Exeter
in the days when impacts into balloon cables first began in earnest. He carried out 38 actual impacts into
cables, two of which were of unusually original nature in Wellingtons. He also carried out very successful
and important de-icing work in Blenheims and Harrows. Since his return to the experimental section he has
been successful in completing a large number and variety of experiments, particularly at night, in connection
with aids to night flying. He has set a splendid example and has shown initiative, determination and couragewas
awarded for rendering outstanding service as a test pilot at RAF Experimental Section at Farnborough in January
Was awarded on August 4th 1942 for his work in the raid on Kiel when Wellington X3488 he was flying was seriously damaged at an altitute of about fifteen hundred feet
and then lost height. Fulton appeared to be very calm at the controls as he flew over a hundred miles just feet above the North Sea. Citation read:
This officer has participated in attacks on industrial targets, dockyard towns, aerodromes and other important
enemy targets. On one night in April 1942 he successfully attacked Kiel. On the return journey his aircraft was
attacked by an enemy fighter whilst flying at a height of 1,500 feet. Wing Commander Fulton's aircraft sustained
much damage. One blade of the port propeller was shot away, the rear turret completely shattered and the rear
gunner wounded. The hydraulic system was damaged and many of the aircraft's instruments were rendered
unserviceable. The damaged propeller caused intense vibration. To offset this Wing Commander Fulton decided
to continue the journey on one engine. The aircraft would not maintain height, however, an descended to some
twenty feet above the level of the seas. Wing Commander Fulton was compelled to restart the port engine and
he succeeded in regaining height. The vibration recommenced and continued in an alarming manner until the
base was reached where an excellent landing was made with the undercarriage retracted. This officer's skill
and determination was responsible for the safe return of his damaged aircraft and his crew after a hazardous
flight of some 118 miles after the aircraft had been attacked. The award was announced
in the London Gazette just weeks after his death.