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Thread: F/O Robert Nathan Shard DFC,DFM - 40 & 78 Sqn RAF

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    Default F/O Robert Nathan Shard DFC,DFM - 40 & 78 Sqn RAF

    Hi, I am currently researching F/O Shards RAF career, can anybody help me out with his medal citations and possibly his list of operations? The DFM was gazetted 22 Jan 1943 with 40 Sqn and the DFC 15 Feb 1944 with 78 Sqn, sadly he was killed in action on the 16 Feb 1944. Any other information would be greatly appreicated,
    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Rick, Here is his DFC citation ex LG:
    Air Ministry, 15th February, 1944.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:
    Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Acting Flight Lieutenant Robert Nathan SHARD, D.F.M. (155256), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 78 Squadron.
    Distinguished Flying Medal.
    Can/R69999 Flight Sergeant Ross Barrett IRWIN, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 78 Squadron. This officer and airman were pilot and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Magdeburg one night in January, 1944. During the operation the aircraft was attacked by a fighter and sustained much damage. The astro-dome was shot away, the mid-upper and rear turrets were put out of action and the hydraulic gear was damaged; the port inner propeller blade was also damaged. The fighter made repeated attacks but Flight Sergeant Irwin, standing with his head protruding through the aperture which had been previously covered by the astro-dome, gave the necessary directions to his pilot who was thus able to out-manoeuvre and eventually evade the attacker. Later, one of the starboard engines had to be feathered. Nevertheless, Flight Lieutenant Shard flew the aircraft back to this country where he landed the bomber safely in spite of badly damaged flaps and burst tyres on two of the landing wheels. This officer and airman displayed great courage, determination and devotion to duty.

    No LG citation for the DFM.

    Regards, Terry

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    DFM

    Sgt Shard has a long and distinguished record of operation, flying in sorties against targets m Italy and North Africa. One night in September. 1942 he was detailed to attack enemy concentrations in the battle area. He released
    his bombs, starting a fire on a petrol dump and another among enemy transport After returning to base and
    resting lor 40 minutes, he returned and attacked the same target.

    From Flightglobal

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Rick

    Shard was posted into 78 Sqn on 23 Oct 43 and flew his first op as a second pilot on the night of 03/04 Nov 43 to Dusseldorf. He then flew as captain to:

    23/24 Nov Frankfurt
    26/27 Nov Stuttgart
    03/04 Dec Leipzig
    20/21 Jan Berlin
    21/22 Jan Magdeburg - did not attack target as bombs jettisoned when attacked by enemy aircaft, Rear gunner killed two others wounded
    15/16 Feb Berlin - crashed on return to English coast. Under carriage were found to bbe down after bombing and would not retract, ran out of fuel and ditched into the sea on reaching the coast.

    Can I ask what your interest is?

    Regards

    Daz

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    Default Robert Shard

    I was in contact years ago with Bob Shard's widow, then remarried. I have some photos taken during his 40 Sqn tour, and also was told that on his last op he baled out his crew just before the fuel was about to run out, thinking they were over East Anglia, when in fact they were still offshore. All landed in the sea, and only one made it ashore.

    David

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    Hi Guys, very many thanks for all the replies, the information is much appreicated. I have the small next of kin slip from his WW2 medal box, hence my interest.

    Dave, if it possible to get a copy of a photo or two that would be fantastic...

    Once again thanks for the help,
    Rick

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    David

    I too would love a photo of this brave man if you have one. Your comment about baling out is true, the crew all landed in the sea as did the Halifax, but it was never confirmed if Shard had managed to get out or not.

    Regards

    Daz

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    DFM Recommendation -

    Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War - Ian Tavender

    SHARD Robert Nathan 1109739 Sgt 40 Sqn
    LG 22/1/43 Pilot Air 2/9612

    This NCO is one of the older members of 40 Sqn having joined it during its attachment to Mediterranean Command in Malta and between 4 th and 15th February 1942, he carried out 6 operational sorties against targets in Italy and North Africa. On the disbanding of 40 Sqn, Sgt Shard was posted to 38 Sqn where he was being trained for torpedo work. He was, however posted to 40 Sqn on re-formation early in May since when he has completed 31 further operations a total of 258.50 hours. The work of his NCO has been consistent and distinguished; for example, on the night of 2/3 September 1942, Sgt Shard was detailed to attack enemy concentrations in the battle area. On arrival over the target, a large fire was observed and three distinct attacks were made in the area of this fire. The first stick of bombs fell north of the fire but started another fire in what appeared to be a petrol dump, while the second and third sticks fell amongest concentrations of enemy transport and several fires were started. Sgt Shard landed at 0140 hrs but took off again after a rest of only 40 minutes to carry out a second raid against the same target. On the second occasion five sticks of bombs were dropped, numerous explosions were observed while nine fires were seen in the area on leaving. The success of these attacks was due to the manner in which Sgt Shard pressed them home. In his work, he was always displayed complete disregard for his own personal safety. His attacks are pressed home with collness and courage and he has at all times shown conspicuous devotion to duty.

    14th December 1942

    Mark

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    Default Robert N Shard DFC DFM

    I am a relative of Robert though I did not now him (before my time) my mother asked me to find some information about him because at the time the family did not talk about it. All she new was that he died when his plane ditched just short of land.
    I have been informed that his wife does not want to get to involved in this as it drags up the past. But she has passed on letters and other items to other members of my family as yet I don't know what, but will find out.

    Though his body has never been found there is a plaque at Runnymede memorial Number 203 info at CWGC.
    Robert flew from 78 Sqn RAF Breighton Yorks in a Halifax Bomber Mk V, Ser: LV798, XID: EY-A on the night of 15th Feb 1944 on Op Berlin, airborne at 1718hrs. Whilst over the target, probably due to flak the under carriage fell down and could no be retracted. As a result of this fuel consumption was excessive and on nearing the English coast at 0039hrs the crew baled out. Most of them landed in the sea and perished.
    F/L RN Shard, DFC DFM, KIA. Sgt KE Clark, KIA. WOI JB Fowler RCAF, KIA. F/O W Uyen RCAF. SGT JR Forder, KIA. SGT N Walton, KIA. SGT W Iddon, KIA.

    The plane lies 17miles NNE of Flamborough Head (as far as I Know).

    Robert also flew on Op Hydra on 17/18 Aug 1943 Bombing Peenemunde the V2 Research center.

    I have the RAF forms to get his service documents you are welcome to access them if you wish when I get them.

    My mother would dearly wish a photo if you have one.
    Thanx

    Kane

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    Hi,

    By chance I just came across a mention of Shard in Bomber Command Losses Volume 8 Heavy Conversion Units 1939-47 W.R Chorley page 138.

    This mention the loss of Halifax II JP129 1658 HCU Lost 28/9/44 force landed.

    This aircraft was flown by Shard to Magdeburg 21-22 January 1944 EY-A 78 Sqn. It force landed at Foulsham on its return, Shard received an immediate D.F.C for this action !

    Mark

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