Little is known about Squadron Leader Ken Roberts.
I looked him up on Google.
But since he received a DFC, I knew where to look.
ROBERTS, P/O Kenneth Godfrey (J89779)
– Distinguished Flying Cross
– No.158 Squadron
– Award effective 15 March 1945 as per London Gazette dated 27 March 1945 and AFRO 1085/45 dated 29 June 1945.
Born 1922 in Toronto; home there (student); enlisted there 6 May 1942. Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 10 October 1942), No.5 BGS (graduated 28 May 1943) and No.1 CNS (graduated 9 July 1943). Commissioned August 1944.
Postwar he was a Public Relations staff officer, prolific writer and ardent canoist. Died in Ottawa, 10 July 1997.
This officer has taken part in a large number of operational sorties as air bomber. He has done excellent work and in the face of the enemy he has always displayed coolness and resolution. In October 1944 he was detailed to attack Sterkrade in daylight. As the aircraft neared the target it was hit by anti-aircraft fire and a splinter pierced the windscreen, narrowing missing this officer. Other pieces damaged the oil tanks, fuselage and mainplane. Undeterred, however, Pilot Officer Roberts coolly completed his allotted tasks.
NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9050 has recommendation dated 15 December 1944 with sortie list and a more detailed text than that which was published.
9 June 44 Laval (5.31) Bombed in cloud
12 June 44 Amiens (4.50) Successful attack
14 June 44 Evrecy (4.54) Bombed as ordered
16 June 44 Sterkrade (4.09) Attacked in cloud
17 June 44 St.Martin l’Hortier (3.30) Bombed target
22 June 44 Siracourt (3.45) First daylight operation
23 June 44 Oisemont (3.25) Bombed aiming point
24 June 44 Le Grand Rossignol (3.27) do.
27 June 44 Marquise Mimoyecques (3.43) do.
28 June 44 Wizernes (3.05) do.
30 June 44 Villers Bocage (3.47) Very concentrated bombing
18 July 44 Caen H.1 (3.58) Completed sortie
20 July 44 Ardouval II (4.02) Recalled by Master Bomber
23 July 44 Les Catelliers (3.41) Successful attack
25 July 44 Wanne Eickel (4.33) Bombed through cloud
29 July 44 Foret de Nieppe (3.52) Successful attack
1 Aug 44 Chapelle Notre Dame (4.02) Recalled by Master Bomber
3 Aug 44 Bois de Casson (4.37) Successful attack
5 Aug 44 Foret de Nieppe (3.39) Bombed as ordered
6 Aug 44 Foret de Nieppe (3.16) Duty carried out
7 Aug 44 TOTALIZER 3 (4.35) Bombed as ordered
9 Aug 44 Bois de la Haie (3.42) Successful
11 Aug 44 Ferfay (3.50) Bombed aiming point; flak damage
14 Aug 44 TRACTABLE 21A (4.04) Duty carried out
15 Aug 44 Eindhoven (3.30) Bombed airfield
16 Aug 44 Kiel (4.19) Bombed through cloud
18 Aug 44 Sterkrade (4.26) do.
25 Aug 44 Brest (Point des Espagnoles) (5.48) Duty carried out
27 Aug 44 Homberg (4.22) Bombed target
3 Sept 44 Soesterburg (3.08) Successful attack
25 Sept 44 Calais (2.39) Bombed in cloud
26 Sept 44 Calais (3.28) Successful
30 Sept 44 Bottrop (4.30) Bombed in cloud
6 Oct 44 Sterkrade (4.18) Bombed as ordered
7 Oct 44 Kleve (4.03) Successful
14 Oct 44 Duisburg (5.25) Bombed as ordered
15 Oct 44 Duisburg (5.25) Bombed in cloud
15 Oct 44 Wilhelmshaven (3.33) Successful attack
23 Oct 44 Essen (5.17) Bombed in cloud
On 6th October 1944, Pilot Officer Roberts was Air Bomber in a Halifax III aircraft detailed from No.158 Squadron to attack Sterkrade in daylight. As the aircraft neared the target it was buffeted by shell bursts and then, as Pilot Officer Roberts started his course directions for the bombing run, another burst peppered the aircraft with shell splinters. One piece went through the perspex in the nose and narrowly missed this officer, and others damaged oil tanks, fuselage and main planes. In spite of this, however, Pilot Officer Roberts cooly continued to direct the bombing run, and his photograph proves that he straddled the aiming point.
On 11th August 1944, on a daylight attack on Ferfay, Pilot Officer Roberts again returned an aiming point photograph when bombing from an aircraft severely damaged by flak on the run up.
Throughout an eventual tour of 39 sorties this Air Bomber has done excellent work. His keen offensive spirit has been an inspiring influence in his crew and in his section. On the ground and in the air he has been an asset to the squadron. It is recommended that Pilot Officer Roberts’ excellent record of courage, bombing efficiency and unfailing devotion to duty be recognized by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
This struck me…
He was a Public Relations staff officer, prolific writer and ardent canoist.
Died in Ottawa, 10 July 1997.
But this WWII veteran is almost unknown on the WWW…
To be continued…