The Airmen's Stories - P/O G Robinson
Gerald Robinson was born on 16th September 1920, he left school in September 1936 and then joined the RAF on 28th October as an Apprentice Clerk at the RAF Records Office at Ruislip. In October 1938 he qualified as an AC1 Accounts Clerk and went to HQ Fighter Command at Bentley Priory.
Later promoted to LAC, Robinson applied for and was selected for air gunner training in late 1939. He was posted to RAF Penrhos in February 1940 for a gunnery course and after qualifying he was commissioned on 7th April.
He was posted to 78 (Training) Squadron at Linton-on-Ouse. Shortly afterwards he volunteered to serve on Defiants and joined 264 Squadron at Duxford on 9th June 1940.
On 24th August Robinson was the gunner in Defiant L7013, which was attacked by Me109's over Thanet and badly damaged. The pilot, F/Lt. EW Campbell-Colquhoun, made a forced-landing at Manston after Verey cartridges exploded in the cockpit. Both men were unhurt.
Robinson went to 307 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 20th October 1940 as Gunnery Liaison Officer. In 1941 he was posted to 85 Squadron at Debden, after qualifying as a Radio Observer at RAF Prestwick he then joined 141 Squadron at Ayr, operating Beaufighters.
In 1942 Robinson came off operational flying and went to RAF Manby for a Long Armament Course, shortened from the peace-time eighteen months to six months. On completion of the course he was posted to 55 OTU Annan as Station Armament Officer. The unit had Hurricanes fitted with some of the first rockets.
It was later expanded and moved to Aston Down, equipped with Typhoons and Tempests. For his work on rockets, which had such a major impact during the invasion of Europe, Robinson was made an MBE (gazetted 1st January 1945).
At the wars end he was sent to the Far East and served in India and Java. Robinson was released from the RAF in late 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant. He rejoined in 1951, as a Pay Accountant, with the rank of Sergeant Instructor.
Robinson passed the Civil Service examination in 1955 as an Executive Officer and left the RAF. He was a Civil Servant from then until his retirement in 1980.
He died in August 1994 in Barnstaple.