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 R.O.C.to 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;