The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A J A Roberts
Arthur John Alan Roberts was born on 23rd December 1915 and educated at Fleet Road Central School, Hampstead, London. He joined the RAF in January 1932 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in December 1934 as a Metal Rigger.
Photograph courtesy of the Roberts family
He was later selected for pilot training. He arrived at 12 Group Pool, Aston Down on 11th December 1939 and, after converting to Blenheims, was posted to 29 Squadron at Debden on 12th January 1940.
On 22nd August his Blenheim was struck by lightning during an RDF trial flight. He and P/O PA Tomlinson returned to Digby, unhurt.
On 29th October Roberts struck a tree, taking off in Blenheim L1503. He was again unhurt.
Commissioned in April 1941, Roberts was serving with 600 Squadron in 1943. He shot a SM84 down into the sea four miles north of Monastir on 26th April.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 20th August 1943) as a Flying Officer with 600 Squadron. The citation credited him with three enemy aircraft destroyed.
Roberts retired from the RAF on 23rd December 1957, as a Squadron Leader.
He died in April 2009.