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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R H Robbins


Robert Horley Robbins was born on 23rd May 1916 in Walthamstow, London and joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his elementary flying training at 15 EFTS Redhill. He moved on to 10 FTS Ternhill for No. 18 Course, running from 1st February to 6th July 1940.

He arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 6th July, converted to Spitfires and joined 54 Squadron at the end of July 1940.

On 15th August Robbins damaged two Do17's, on the 18th he destroyed a Me110, on the 24th he destroyed a Me109 and on 2nd September he destroyed another Me109 and damaged two Do17's.

Robbins was posted to 66 Squadron at Gravesend on 11th September. Three days later Robbins was shot down in combat over Maidstone in Spitfire X4327. He was admitted to Leeds Castle Military Hospital suffering from shock.

On the 14th he was posted to RAF Biggin Hill as non-effective sick. The date of his rejoining 66 Squadron is not known.

His subsequent service is currently undocumented until October 1943, when he was commissioned. A marriage certificate from Standerton, SE of Johannesburg, South Africa states that he married Margaret Grace Kerslake, a nurse, there on 17th July 1943.

Robbins was released from the RAF in 1947 as a Flight Lieutenant but an entry in the London Gazette for 1st July 1954 records that he re-enlisted then for an eight-year engagement.


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