Sergeant Robert Francis Wilson

Robert Wilson was born in Aberdeen in 1920. His father was a joiner so Robert was a trainee carpenter. Volunteering for the Royal Air Force as soon as he was old enough he trained as a Flight Engineer. Following his engineer training he joined his crew at 1660 Conversion Unit.

He was posted in to 50 Squadron on 23 December 1942.

His first operation was with Squadron Leader Birch. Therafter he flew ith three different pilots, but mainly Sergeant F G McGrath who was posted in to 50 Squadron at the same time.

The above photo's are Bob Wilson during basic and trade training

His operations were;

2/3rd February 1943
Lancaster         S/L P C Birch              Bombing attack on Cologne.
ED482             Sgt R F Wilson      
                       F/L W T Gray
                       F/O E C Wood          
                       F/Sgt S Allen
                       F/O R D T-Roper      
                       Sgt J M Hartman

7/8th February 1943
Lancaster          Sgt F G McGrath        Bombing attack on Lorient.
ED475              Sgt R F Wilson          
                       Sgt R Coulson           
                       P.O T Royds             
                       Sgt R Toulson           
                       Sgt A H Jeffery         
                       Sgt C Birtles

11/12th March 1943
Lancaster         P.O. E D Evans           Bombing attack on Stuttgart.
ED470             Sgt      Wilson             ??????

12/13th March  1943
Lancaster         P.O. E D Evans           Bombing attack on Essen.
ED470             Sgt      Wilson             ??????

6/7th April 1943
Lancaster         Sgt F G McGrath        Gardening Furze area.
R5687             Sgt R F Wilson           This aircraft was turned back at                    
                       Sgt R Coulson           00.46 and all veg. was jettisoned
                       P.O A Cheetham        safe, Pilots states “The trip was
                       Sgt R L Rutherford    Uneventful. Descent was made
                       Sgt A H Jeffery         through the cloud to 1.000'but
                       Sgt C Birtles             cloud base continued to be lower.     

10/11th April 1943
Lancaster         Sgt F G McGrath        Bombing attack on Frankfurt.
ED478             Sgt R F Wilson           Waddington received message at 01.35 Stating
                      Sgt R Coulson            aircraft was returning to base. At 02.38 hrs pilot
                      P.O A Cheetham         asked permission to jettison bombs off Skegness.
                      F/Sgt D Mansfield      This was granted. Waddington sent message by w/t
                      Sgt A H Jeffery          instructing pilot to jettison bombs 60 miles east of
                      Sgt C Birtles             Skegness.This message was acknowledged at 02.57hrs. The aircraft was reported by have crossed coast at 03.10 and nothing further has been heard.
The above extract is taken from the Operational record book for 50 squadron.

W R Chorley make the further statement in his Bomber Command losses; "very Feint signals w/t signals were picked up at 04.45 and the lancaster was then thought to be some 60 miles off Skegness. An air sea rescue search was mounted and a few small peices of wreckage were found in the search area. All are commemorated on the Runnymead Memorial.

Sergeant Wilson and his crew are commemorated on the walls of the International Bomber Command Centre and further details of the crew can be found in the posses database;

Wilson R - International Bomber Command Centre (

Mike Connock