Author Topic: Francis Harold ROBERTSON  (Read 2642 times)

Offline JJadams

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Re: Francis Harold ROBERTSON
« Reply #9 on: Tuesday 02 July 13 14:26 BST (UK) »
Hi, I know this is delayed but my great uncle Sgt JJ Cooper died next to the man you are enquiring about. He was from Rhodesia as well, having been born in Cape Town. He was the Flight Engineer, second to the pilot Robertson and would have been his right hand man.

I recently saw the excavated parts of the Lancaster bomber in the UK and discovered a lot of interesting information. When visiting the squadron 106 museum I came across a photgraph of Guy Gibson standing next to Squadron Leader Francis Roberston. It's a famous photo. If you type "Guy Gibson 1000" into Google the photo will come up of a large group of men with two bombers in the background, the man laughing just right of centre with the flying cap on is the man you are looking for ;) They were close friends and Guy Gibson mentioned the loss of "Robbo" in his book "Enemy Coast Ahead". Guy Gibson went on to form the Dam busters and I have no doubt in my Robertson would have been part of it as they trained together.

I also have a photograph of two german soldiers standing next to the wreckage of the bomber the following morning after the crash. I also have a handwritten letter from the last surviving member of the crew now aged 95 describing the last moments of the flight.

Apparently the Hydraulic system failed rendering the guns obsolete and unable to open the bomb bay doors, they turned back and were shot down. It was the maiden flight of this particular Lancaster as Avro Lancasters were brand new aircraft being introduced.

Here is some more info:
My Great uncle JJ Cooper was a Sergeant in Squadron 106 (Aircarft Marking Code ZN) & Flight Engineer in the RAF, and flew in an Avro Lancaster in bombing raids over Cologne, Essen, Bremen and Hamburg during the summer of 1942. He Died July 27th 1942 alongside a few members of his crew, although a few survived and became POW's, as for the picture of the three graves in Holland, These are the graves of Sgnt Joseph John Cooper, Sgt Maurice John Dembrey (W.Op./Air Gnr.) & Sqd. Ldr Francis Harold Robertson DFC. (Pilot)  They were all members of 106th Squadron based at RAF Coningsby, an airbase which opened in 1940, and is in Lincolnshire, about 14 miles North-East of Sleaford. Today the site is still in use by the RAF and is home to the Battle of Britain Museum and the Memorial Flight with the only flying Lancaster left in the UK and out of two in the world. 106th Squadron served at RAF Coningsby from 23 Feb 1941 to 1 Oct 1942 (Joe was killed in July) Most of his his crew were killed in action over Holland on the 26th of July 1942. He was a flight engineer and sat next to the pilot and was in charge of keeping the plane in the air mechanically and controlling fuel to the engines. Now the interesting bit is that his Wing Commander (of Squadron 106) during 1942 was a man called "Guy Gibson" who in 1943 picked some men from Squadron 106 and formed Squadron 617 and then became the famous Dam Busters, who flew from the same airbase at Coningsby in Lincolnshire, He was awarded the Victoria Cross. -  Coningsby aircraft flew in the famous Thousand Bomber' raid on Cologne in May 1942 which Joe would have been part of, although his target was Hamburg.

The pilot from this aircraft was SL Francis Harold Robertson DFC  (Mentioned as "Robbo" in  the book ”Enemy coast ahead” by Guy Gibson as they were very close friends)

Avro Lancaster And Manchester Bomber Losses.Legend: + = Killed; pow = prisoner of war.Where an aircraft was lost during a night raid the date of loss is indicated by the "later date." For example: the night of 13/14 March 1941 = 14 MarAircrew LossesSerial No: R5748Classification: Shot DownDate: 27 July 1942 Night/Day Raid: NightTarget/Tasking: HamburgCrew Names: S/L F.H. Robertson, DFGC +; Sgt. J.J Cooper +; Sgt. J.C. Henry, RAAF pow; P/O W.A.J.Fuller +; Sgt. M.J. Dembrey +; P/O H.F.C. Humphries, RCAF pow; Sgt. R. Stoker powType: LancasterService History: 106 Sqn del'd 23-7-42 ZN-RSOC/Crash Site: Zwartveen, Holland

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Offline Salet

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Re: Francis Harold ROBERTSON
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 20:29 GMT (UK) »
Hello if you are still looking for the family of Sgt Robertson I can help. Please PM me

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