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Thread: 509364 Sgt. Henry Robson, 139 Sqn, D.F.M. - award details?

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    Default 509364 Sgt. Henry Robson, 139 Sqn, D.F.M. - award details?

    Hello everyone

    I have another D.F.M. award that I'm trying to find details for, if anyone can help. Sgt Henry Robson had his D.F.M. gazetted on October 31st 1941, some 11 months after he was killed in Blenheim T2328, lost on December 31st 1940.

    I was confused at first by this thread on the RAFCommands archive:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/01740.php

    which implies he was aboard Blenheim T3670 of 110 Sqn, shot down on June 8th 1940, with all three crew evading (Arderne, Robson and Tippett). However, this Robson seemingly was in fact 562271 Sgt. George Robson, also awarded the D.F.M., his award being gazetted October 23rd 1941. See:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...george-raf-dfm

    The LG entry for Henry Robson's award is listed as 'awarded with effect from 28th December 1940,' some three days before his death, and announced on the same page is a D.F.C. awarded to the pilot of T2328, S/L Robert Carleton Beaman, 39367, also listed as w.e.f. from 28th December 1940.

    So, can anyone possibly add any details to the circumstances of their awards?

    Many thanks,

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 23rd August 2017 at 18:25.

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    Hi Simon,

    I believe 509364 Sgt H. Robson was a crew member on Blenheim R3670.

    I remember reading an account about the evasion of the crew, when they became attached 2/7 Duke of Wellingtons Rgt, the crew were recommended for gallantry awards for their army service (MC & MMs) . These were never awarded, although Arderne was awarded the DFC in September 1940. Tippett D.F.M was mentioned in despatches LG 20/12/1940 page 7197 in a listing for Army personnel for the campaign in France & Flanders . The only other RAF man listed with Tippett was 509364 Sgt H. Robson !

    Mark

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    Mark

    Thanks for the reply.

    I'd thought that George Robson was on board R3670, as the revised version of Bill Chorley's Bomber Command Losses, Vol. 1, page 147, gives Sgt G. Robson as the crew member, along with Arderne and Tippett.

    Just to add to the mix, Casualty Communique No. 36, Flight Magazine of July 4th 1940, page 17, reports 562271 George Robson as 'Missing', and then he is reported as 'Previously Reported Missing, Now Reported Safe' in Flight Magazine of July 18th 1940, page 57. This could fit in with him being aboard R3670.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Evaders by Clutton-Brook has Sgt G Robson on R3670 8/6/40

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    Can anyone post here what Tavener has in his DFM book for both Robson as even Hugh Halliday from 2002 noticed inconsistencies in the reporting of H Robson citation I wonder if the official records Air 2/6102 are wrong

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    I have not checked Tavender but for the record (since my name has come up) this is what I have previously compiled:

    ROBSON, Henry, Sergeant (509364, Royal Air Force) - No.110 Squadron - recommended for an MM late in 1940; apparently not awarded but noted here for the record. See P/O P.V. Arderne (recommended) for details.

    ARDERNE, Philip Valentine, P/O (40658, Royal Air Force) - No.110 Squadron - award ? - Public Record Office Air 2/6102 includes recommendation has recommendations for an MC to Arderne plus MMs to 509364 Sergeant Henry Robson and 538806 Sergeant John Tippett, DFM. All were members of No.82 Squadron when recommended. It would appear that neither NCO received an MM, and I assume that Arderne did not, in consequence, receive an MC. Taverner records a DFM to Robson (31 October 1940) but with a recommendation totally at variance to the MM document. There appears to have been no significent award to Tippett. On the face of it, on the basis of such books and documents at hand, it would seem that the MC and MM recommendations came to naught - but there is the possibility that at least a Mention in Despatches came through, and perhaps an MBE for Arderne or a BEM for Tippett (Robson was killed in action and the CWGC site mentions only his DFM). For the record, the joint recommendation read as follows:

    On the 8th June 1940, Pilot Officer Arderne, Sergeant Rodson and Sergeant Tippett were the crew of a Blenheim aircraft engaged on low flying attacks on the neighbourhood of Amiens. The aircraft was attacked by two Messerschmitts and was so damaged that the pilot was forced to land in a sector of the British line held by the 2/7th battlion of the Duke of Wellington's regiment in Bethune. In spite of this they were in excellenet spirits and were attached to the regiment pending their transfer to Rouen. Before this could be effected, however, the enemy broke through the French line and occupied Rouen. The Army unit became involved in intense fighting and throughout the action, Pilot Officer Arderne Sergeant Robson and Sergeant Tippett were engaged in manning and firing an anti-aircraft light machine gun in the open. During this time they displayed great coolness and initiative and set a fine example to the men of the battalion. Later in the action, Pilot Officer Arderne was given command of a platoon owing to shortage of officers in the battalion. Pilot Officer Aderne, Sergeant Robson and Sergeant Tippett displayed great courage and initiative in adapting themselves so readily to a role for which they were completely untrained. The senior remaining officer of the Army unit concerned has written to commend the behaviour of the whole crew and to congratulate the Commanding Officer on the excellence of the officer and non-commissioned officers concerned.

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    Thank you for the info from 'Evaders' Paul, and thanks Hugh for posting the recommendation. To quote Lewis Carroll, 'curiouser and curiouser! cried Alice...'

    There do seem to have been some wires crossed in officialdom somewhere down the line at some stage with regard to Henry Robson D.F.M and George Robson D.F.M. Unhelpfully the 110 Sqn ORB for June 1940 doesn't list initials.

    For what it's worth, the award to George Robson was reported at the time in the Newcastle Journal of December 23rd 1941:

    Sergeant George Robson, born in Newcastle in 1912, has acted as navigator on over 50 raids against the enemy, including low-level attacks on enemy mechanised units and troop concentrations during the fighting in France. Throughtout he has shown oustanding ability and courage.
    His home is at Benwell. He was at school until he enlisted as aircraft apprentice in 1928. He is now an observer fitter.


    I can't find a report for Henry Robson's award.

    Regards

    Simon

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    "Robsons" Choice


    This is made all the more difficult with 3 Sgt Robson's on 110 Sqn at one time, all winning the DFM in short order.

    This is what Distinguished Flying Medal Register : Second World War
    By Ian T. Tavender has

    I was fortunate to find a copy recently at a price that did not make the eyes water....

    ROBSON, George. 562271 Sergeant, No.106 Sqn.
    L.G. 23/12/1941. Sorties 51, Flying hours 199.10 Air Observer. Air2/9572

    Sergeant Robson has been a Navigator on 51 bombing raids and has taken part in both day and night attacks on the enemy. As a member of a Blenheim crew with No.110 Squadron. he took part in 6 night and 26 daylight raids. Many of these latter were during the German invasion of the Low countries and France and consisted almost entirely of bombing enemy occupied aerodromes, enemy transport and mechanised units and troop concentrations - attacks necessarily made at low level. During one of these flights, his aircraft was shot down but he escaped back to England and, within 12 days, was back again in action. After a short rest, Sergeant Robson was posted to this unit where he has continued his excellent work and has already navigated on 19 raids to Soest, Kiel, Frankfurt and other vital. enemy targets. Sergeant Robson is a Navigator of outstanding ability and courage and his brilliant record is an example.


    ROBSON, Harold. 580381 Sergeant, No.110 Sqn.
    L.G. 22/10/1940. Sorties 39, Flying hours 104. Air Observer. Air2/9467.

    Sergeant Robson has carried out 39 operational flights with his squadron involving 104 flying hours. He is an excellent Navigator and Bomb Aimer who has on all occasions shown great calm efficiency. Sergeant Robson is the type of N.C.O. who carries out all his work in a quiet and efficient manner, leaving the talking for others to do, and is possessed of outstanding resolution
    and courage I recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.


    ROBSON, Henry. 509364 Sergeant, No.110 Sqn.
    LG. 31/10/1941. Sorties 33, Flying hours 104. Air Observer. Air2/8888.

    This airman has completed 33 operational flights involving 104 hours flying by day and night. On 6th December, 1940, his ability as Navigator and Bomb Aimer contributed largely to the success of an attack on Bremen in very adverse weather. He has proved himself to be a most courageous Observer.

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    Paul

    Many thanks indeed for clearing up the mystery of the two (or indeed three!) Robsons. Much appreciated.

    Regards

    Simon

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