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6 July 2017
Crew 63, Pilot Lyle David Robinson – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

 

 

Wanted: Photo of Robinson crew, or individuals,
and information about them.

If you can help, please make contact.

 

 

Crew 63, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, Norfolk

Pilot: Lyle David ROBINSON
Navigator: Frederick Alexander FILMER
Bomb Aimer: Lionel DITTMANN
Wireless Operator: Bernard Francis ROBINSON
Flight Engineer: Ron GIBSON
Mid-Upper Gunner: Franklin Keith McKenzie ANDREW
Rear Gunner: Grant BOYS
Special Duties: WINDOW Dispensers
Some members of this crew on VE Day
August 1989 at Foulsham

Links to additional crew information; and Crew Ops.

Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; The National Archives of Australia (Service Files, 462 Squadron Operational Record Book), 462 Squadron veterans as named in the text.

 

Enlistment photo of Lyle David Robinson, 428792 RAAF, later Pilot at 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 428792

Above: Enlistment photo of Lyle David Robinson, 10 October 1942, aged 19, Sydney.

 

Pilot

Name: Lyle David ROBINSON
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 428792
Date of Birth: 24 June 1923
Place of Birth: Bega, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 10 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: David ROBINSON
Date of Discharge: 15 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

 

 

Lyle David Robinson, 428792 RAAF, later Pilot at 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 428792

Above: Lyle David Robinson, undated and location not recorded, but maybe 1943?

 

Pilot Lyle David Robinson, 428792 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 428792

Above: Pilot, Lyle David Robinson, undated, location not recorded. The rank stripe on both of his cuffs seem to be that of Flying Officer, so photo may be dated between 22 March 1945 (his promotion from P/O) and 15 January 1946.
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Navigator Frederick Alexander Filmer, 436241, RAAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Cropped from Nav group photo, from the Evans Family Collection

Above: Frederick Alexander Filmer, late February or March 1945, Foulsham, aged 31 on 11 April 1945.

 

Navigator

Name: Frederick Alexander FILMER
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 436241
Date of Birth: 11 April 1914
Place of Birth: Cowra, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 2 December 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, Western Australia
Next of Kin: Betty FILMER
Date of Discharge: 14 September 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

 

 

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Bomb Aimer Lionel Dittmann, 429529  RAAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 429529

Above: Enlistment photo of Lionel Dittmann, 9 October 1942, aged 20, Brisbane.

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: Lionel DITTMANN
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 429529
Date of Birth: 23 October 1921
Place of Birth: Childers, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 9 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Qld
Next of Kin: Henry DITTMANN
Date of Discharge: 24 July 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
Prisoner of War: No

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Wireless Operator

Name: Bernard Francis ROBINSON
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 424343
Date of Birth: 1 November 1923
Place of Birth: Carlton, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 26 August 1942
Locality on Enlistment: Pambula, NSW
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: Thomas ROBINSON
Date of Discharge: 10 April 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
Prisoner of War: No

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Flight EngineerFlight Engineer Ron Gibson, 1827822, RAF (VR), 462 Squadron, Foulsham.

At left: Ron Gibson, Foulsham, June (?) 1945,
cropped from the Flight Engineers group photo.
(A A Newstead Collection)

Name: Ron GIBSON
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1827822
Date and Place of Birth: ....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ...... *
Posted from 462 Squadron: September 1945
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Sergeant
Prisoner of War: No

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1820001 to No. 1830000 were allocated from November 1943 at Edinburgh. This batch includes 1827822 for Ron Gibson.
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Mid-Upper Gunner Franklin Keith McKenzie ANDREW, 431712 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 431712

Above: Enlistment photo of Franklin Keith McKenzie Andrew, 30 July 1943, aged 23, Melbourne.

 

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Franklin Keith McKenzie ANDREW
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 431712
Date of Birth: 20 January 1920
Place of Birth: Sale, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 30 July 1943
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: C. ANDREW
Date of Discharge: 14 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
Prisoner of War: No

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Rear Gunner

Name: Grant BOYS
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 437388
Date of Birth: 9 January 1925
Place of Birth: South Adelaide, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 30 January 1943
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, SA
Next of Kin: Thelma BOYS
Date of Discharge: 23 April 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
Prisoner of War: No

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Special Duties (WINDOW Dispensers)

James Wallis KIMBER, 436523 RAAF
2 Ops with this crew (but total of 21 Ops at 462 Sqdn).

Stewart Edmund TAYLOR, 433176 RAAF
(in ORB as E.D. Taylor)
1 Op with this crew (but total of 25 or 26 Ops at 462 Sqdn).

George Sandford KING, 436814 RAAF
1 Op with this crew (total of 2 Ops at 462 Sqdn).

Kimber and Taylor were posted to 462 Squadron in January 1945 with a group of 12 Wireless Operators for Special Duties, dispensing WINDOW.
King was posted to 462 Squadron in early April 1945, with a second group of 12 Wireless Operators, similarly tasked.
They were not assigned to any one crew.
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462 Squadron, RAAF, 100 Group, VE Day at Foulsham, May 1945, with group of Special Duties (WINDOW) Airmen and four members of the Robinso Crew -  other crews.
Photo from the Neville Owen Reed Collection.

 

 

462 Squadron, RAAF, 100 Group, VE Day at Foulsham, May 1945, with group of Special Duties (WINDOW) Airmen and members of other crews, including four from the Robinson Crew, names in bold.
(Names from the caption of the same photo in the book "Phoenix – Book 2: The Reincarnation" by A.G. Batten.)

Standing, L to R: Greg Farrell; Ron Gibson, Flight Engineer

Middle Row: Bill Caddy, Jack Wall, Mick Toohey, Ron Irminger, Vic Chaffer; Frank Andrew, Mid-Upper Gunner; Grant Boys, Rear Gunner; Lionel Dittmann, Bomb Aimer; Ernie Stanton.

Front: Stan Tills, Nev Reed.

Nav F/O Filmer had been posted from 462 Sqdn in April 1945. Pilot F/O Robinson would have been living in Officers' quarters, and W/OP Robinson is not in the photo.

See 462 Squadron Foulsham for more details of others in the same photo.
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W/OP Robinson and Pilot Robinson at Foulsham August 1989.
Photo from the A. A. Newstead collection.

The dedication and unveiling of Commemorative Plaques on the Foulsham Village Sign was held on Sunday 27 August 1989.

Several former members of 462 Squadron attended.

Above: (left) former Wireless Operator Bernard Francis Robinson, and (right) former Pilot Lyle David Robinson, crew 63.
They were not related.

Duke Newstead advised that Lyle Robinson and Frank Robinson and their wives travelled to the UK, their visit to include the Commemoration in Foulsham. After leaving Foulsham, they were to visit Dundee, Scotland, to locate their former F/Eng Ron Gibson, but apparently without success.

Further details and pictures of this event are at Foulsham Memorial.

Foulsham August 1989, F/Eng Arthur A Newstead, W/OP Robinson, F/Eng Brocklesby and Pilot Lyle Robinson.
Photo above and below from the B. K. Drinkwater collection.

caption identifying

Left to right: Arthur (Duke) Newstead, F/Engineer, Anderson crew 45;
Frank Robinson, Wireless Operator, crew 63, and wife Mary;
Avis and Len Brocklesby, F/Eng, Marchant crew 32;
Lola and Lyle Robinson, Pilot, crew 63.

The photo and its caption had inadvertently been cut off when scanned from the original photo album.
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Additional crew information (Sourced from the National Archives of Australia – digitized Service Files for Pilot Lyle Robinson, Bomb Aimer Dittmann, and MU/AG Andrew; and from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book.)

Postings and Rank

Officers Posted TO 462 Squadron, March 1945: Lyle Robinson is included at the rank of Pilot Officer, Form 540 page 65.
However, none of the other 6 members of this crew are listed in either the Officer or the NCO arrival lists (in any month).
Referring to the Form 541 Op records, on their first Op, Filmer was Pilot Officer; Boys was W/O; Dittmann and Frank Robinson and Andrew were all F/Sgts; and Gibson was a Sgt.

Filmer served as Navigator for the first three of the crews four OPs, before being posted out in April. He was replaced by Navigator W/O J F Healy 1060481 RAF for the OP on 24 April. However, no records has been found of Healy's arrival at 462 Squadron, and this appears to be his one and only Op. He was posted out in September 1945. In the July 1945 Air Force List, J F Healy is recorded as Warrant Officer effective 01 March 1944, however no Service Number is included for cross-referencing with the one in the 462 Sqdn ORB.

Officers Posted FROM 462 Squadron, April 1945: Flying Officer Filmer, Form 540, page 74.
Officers Posted FROM 462 Squadron, September 1945: Flying Officer Lyle Robinson, Form 540, page 116.
NCOs Posted FROM 462 Squadron, September 1945: Sgt Ron Gibson and W/O Dittmann and W/O J F Healy, page 117; W/O Frank Robinson, page 118; W/O Grant Boys and F/Sgt Andrew, page 119.

Summary of Crew formation and history by comparing the three service files of Pilot Lyle Robinson, B/Aimer Dittmann, and MU/AG Andrew.

  Pilot Robinson Bomb Aimer Dittmann MU/AG Andrew
Previous service Nil Nil 6 months with the 13th Light Horse Regiment
Enlisted RAAF 10 October 1942, Sydney, NSW 09 October 1942, Brisbane, Qld 30 July 1943, Melbourne, Vic
Training in Australia 2 ITS, 8 EFTS, 8 SFTS

3 ITS, 5 EFTS

1 ITS; 1 AGS, West Sale;
Training in Canada Nil Canada - 17 SFTS, 37 SFTS, 8 BAGS, 2 AOS Nil
Qualified Flying Badge 28 July 1943 Air Bombers Badge, 14 January 1944 RCAF Air Gunner Badge 16 March 1944
Embarked for the UK From Sydney, 11 August 1943 From Canada, 25 March 1944 From Sydney, 5 April 1944
11 PDRC, Brighton 16 October 1943 02 April 1944 15 May 1944
Training UK 20 (P) AFU, 18 SFTS,
1519 BAT
4 (O) AFU  
27 OTU, Lichfield 20 June 1944 20 June 1944 20 June 1944
Commissioned 22 September 1944,
Pilot Officer
No No
41 Base, 1658 HCU, Riccall 20 October 1944 20 October 1944 20 October 1944
74 Base 07 November 1944 07 November 1944 07 November 1944
462 Squadron 02 March 1945 01 March 1945 01 March 1945
  Single Single

Married 18 August 1945, Berwick, UK; wife LACW C S Andrews, 2092689 RAF, Foulsham.

9 ACHU, Gamston

19 September 1945

19 September 1945

18 September 1945
11 PDRC Brighton 5 October 1945 10 November 1945 10 November 1945
Disembarked from UK Sydney, 28 November 1945 Melbourne, 22 January 1946 Melbourne 22 January 1946
Discharged in Aus 15 January 1946 24 July 1946 14 March 1946

From the bold font entries in the table above:-
The initial crew of 6 probably formed at 27 OTU, Lichfield, on or soon after the 20 June 1944.
The flight engineer probably joined the crew at 1658 HCU Riccall, on or soon after 20 October 1944.
The crew of seven was probably posted TO 462 Squadron Foulsham on 1/2 March 1945.
The RAAF crew members were probably all posted FROM the Squadron together on 18/19 September to 9 Aircrew Holding Unit at RAF Gamston. The remaining Flight Engineers were posted as a group to RAF Bruntingthorpe on 22 September 1945, and F/Eng Gibson's name was included in that group.
Warrant Officers Dittmann and Andrew seem to have stayed in the same stream of later postings to 11 PDRC Brighton, and were probably repatriated to Australia on the same ship, disembarking in Melbourne on 22 January 1946.
Information on the other three RAAF members of this crew, and F/Eng Gibson are not yet known.

Crew Ops (Sourced from National Archives of Australia – 462 Squadron Operational Record Books.)

The following table lists the four Ops for Robinson and his crew. There was one substitution for Nav Filmer, but no others for the usual crew of 7.
On all four Ops they carried one extra crew member for Special duties to dispense WINDOW. This crew did not participate in any RCM duties.
They did not have any early returns, had no other incidents, and all Ops were classified as successful. Except for Filmer, this crew was not posted out until September 1945. It is probable that they were participants in the post-conflict "Ruhr Tours" with extra passengers to observe bombing damage; as well as ferrying RAF personnel, and bomb disposal. Although listed in the ORB, these flights do not usually include the Pilot's name, or names of the crew or passengers.

Aircraft Serial as listed in the Operational Record Book, Forms 541.
Aircraft Code numbers Z5- were not listed in the ORB, but are believed to be correct, based on photos and other log book entries, and compared with other sources.
Times up and down in red are night flights.
Target "Bremerhaven x 9" means 9 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Bremerhaven, with Robinson's crew being one of those 9 (and so on for the other dates).
Target "Berlin x 9 (of 11)" means 9 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Berlin, with Robinson's crew being one of those 9; with a different target for the extra 462 Squadron aircraft.
Code for Op Type – SD Special Duties; SP Spoof; W WINDOW; TI Target Indicators; I Incendiaries; F Flares; B Bombing.
Comments include names of extra crew members to dispense WINDOW.

 

Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
27/03/1945 1 MZ370   1927 2357 Bremerhaven x 9 SD SP W TI I

Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
James Wallis KIMBER, RAAF
Note Aircraft Serial in ORB is incorrect, as MZ3370 Z5-L failed to return from Special Duties Op to Dortmund on 08/03/1945, Pilot James and Crew (all PoWs).
The correct aircraft for 27/03/1945 is unknown, until a logbook from one of the Robinson crew becomes available.

02/04/1945 2 NA147 G 2047 0209 Stade x 10 (Kiel) SD SP W B TI Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
Stewart Edmund TAYLOR, RAAF
04/04/1945 3 NA147 G 1906 0302 Berlin x 9 (of 11) SD SP W I F Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
James Wallis KIMBER, RAAF
24/04/1945 4 PN432 J 2149 0410 Munich x 6 SD SP W Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
George Sandford KING, RAAF

Photos of NA147 Z5-G on Halifax page.

 

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