P/O Gerald Errol Robertson

Comment sent from a reader last night

I am looking for any info on my uncle P/O Gerald Errol Robertson.  He was a navigator, I believe and was in 415 Squadron in WW2,   His service number was J/87405 and he was killed in action on June 13, 1944 somewhere in Europe,  His only memorial is at Runnymede, Surrey,UK at England’s memorial to all who did not return.   I am looking maybe for anyone who may have known him and perhaps would have any photos or info.  

My email is bgriff9@gmail.com.

Pilot Officer Gerald Errol Robertson is on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial Website.

Gerald Errol Robertson

In memory of
Pilot Officer
Gerald Errol Robertson
who died on June 13, 1944

Military Service:

Service Number: J/87405
Age: 21
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division:415 Sqdn.

Additional Information:
Son of Joseph T. and Ethel H. Robertson, of Mille Roches, Ontario, Canada.

Cemetery: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL; Surrey, United Kingdom
Grave Reference:Panel 252.
This is the information I found.
415 Squadron was serving with Coastal Command but was transferred to No. 6 Group on 12th July 1944.
Three completely new squadrons were formed by the Group. These were No. 432 on 1st May 1943; No. 434 on 13th June 1943; and No.433, which began to form on 25th September 1943. For some months No. 431 Squadron remained the only Canadian bomber squadron serving with the RAF apart from the Group, but it was taken over on 15th July 1943. Last established squadron to be added was No. 415, which had been serving with Coastal Command, but was transferred to No. 6 Group on 12th July 1944.
(Source: http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/bombercommandno6group.cfm)
On Wikipedia…
No. 415 Squadron was created at Thorney Islandon 21 August 1941 as a torpedo-bomber squadron, armed with Hampdens. It flew from a number of different bases, attacking enemy convoys and shipyards.In March 1943 Acting Wing Commander George Howard David Evans, RAF, was appointed as Commanding Officer.[2] A week later while flying an air test his aircraft crashed. On 8 April he undertook a night ‘roam’ over St Malo and Cherbourg armed with bombs but did not find a target. The following day he led 12 Hampdens to Docking and on the 10 April six to St Eval. Later in the day he led five Hampdens in a torpedo attack against the Italian blockade runner Himalaya which was being escorted by eight German warships in the Bay of Biscay. His aircraft was hit several times by flak and was forced to turn back to Bordeaux. The squadron received the following signal: “From AOC 19 Group A/479 11 Apr. Please convey to W/Cdr Evans and those concerned my hearty congratulations on the great determination shown by himself, F/O Brenner, P/O Batten and F/Sgts Clive and McGee, in pressing home their important attack on the enemy blockade runner on 10 Apr in the face of the heaviest opposition.” On 20 April 1943 Wing Commander Evans was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)for his previous service with 489 (RNZAF) Squadron. He handed over command of 415 Squadron on 1 August 1943 and was made a member of the Distinguished Service Order on 1 October 1943 for his leadership of the Squadron.In October 1943 the Squadron was re-equipped with Wellingtons and Albacores; operating out of Bircham Newton, it became a successful E- and R-boat hunter unit. During the D-Day operations, it used its bombers to lay protective smoke screens for the Allied ships as they assaulted the coastline and landed troops ashore.

This information is quite interesting…

During the D-Day operations, it used its bombers to lay protective smoke screens for the Allied ships as they assaulted the coastline and landed troops ashore.

P/O Robertson died after the D-Day operations.

More about 415 Squadron here.

P/O Robertson would have flown on a Fairey Albacore.

Fairey_Albacore

This information is about the squadron and where it was stationed…

No 415 was formed at Thorney Island on the 20th of August 1941. It had a torpedo-bomber role with Coastal Command until July of 1944 when it transferred to No 6 (RCAF) Group of Bomber Command.

Under Coastal Command it made bomb and torpedo attacks on enemy shipping, enemy-occupied ports and port installations. In October 1943 No 415 was equipped with Wellingtons and Albacores, tracking down E- and R-boats, and flying night patrols in preparation for the Normandy landings. In the D-Day operations No 415 laid smoke screens for the Allied Naval Forces.

Under Bomber Command, No 415 became a heavy-bomber squadron with Halifax III, attacking Hamburg in late July and ultimately flying 104 missions in its final 9 months.

No 415 was disbanded in May 1945.

Airfields No. 415 Squadron flew from:

  • RAF Thorney Island, Hampshire from the 20th August 1941 (formed, Group 16 Coastal Command. Beaufort I, Blenheim IV, Hampden)
  • RAF North Coates, Lincolnshire from June 1942
  • RAF Wick, Caithness from August 1942
  • RAF Leuchars, Fife from September 1942
  • RAF Thorney Island from November 1942 (Wellington XIII, albacore I)
  • RAF Bricham Newton, Norfolk from November 1943
  • RAF East Moor, Yorkshire from the 12th July 1944 (Group 6 Bomber Command. Halifax VII
  • disbanded the 15th May 1945

Source:

http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/ww2/allied/royalairforce/415sqd-raf.php

This reader can get his uncle service record from Archives Canada by filling out this form.

022-909.007-e

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