The Airmen's Stories - F/O R W G Norris
Robert Wilson Norris of Toronto, Canada joined the RCAF on 12th June 1939 and after training went to 112 Squadron, flying Lysanders. The squadron was posted to the UK and arrived at Highpost, near Salisbury on 17th June 1940.
From 15th July to 8th August Norris was at Old Sarum attending an Army Co-operation course. Responding to a call for volunteers for Fighter Command Norris was attached to 5 OTU Aston Down on 19th August 1940.
After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron at Northolt on 2nd September. He claimed a Me109 probably destroyed on the 15th and a He111 and a Me110 damaged on the 27th.
Norris was posted to 400 (RCAF) Squadron on 30th January 1941, flying Tomahawks from Odiham on photographic-reconnaissance duties across the Channel. He was repatriated to Canada in March 1942 and commanded 125 (RCAF) Squadron from 3rd June 1942, flying Hurricanes from Sydney, Nova Scotia on east coast defence.
In January 1944 he took his squadron to the UK but lost his command to a more experienced fighter pilot on 8th February. Norris refused a posting back to Canada and transferred to Bomber Command, eventually taking command of 424 Squadron on 27th March 1945, operating Lancasters from Skipton-on-Swale.
Postwar the squadron airlifted British and Canadian troops back from Italy to the UK. He was posted away on 30th September and released from the RCAF on 28th November 1945 as a Wing Commander.
On 26th May 1951 Norris rejoined the RCAF and served in Transport Command. He retired on 6th November 1963 as a Flight Lieutenant.