WILLIAM EDMUND
ROBERTS

DFC & Bar

 

From: "Simon Roberts" <swroberts@onaustralia.com.au>
Date: 6 May 1997

Subject: Re: Information on 460 Sqn

Hi,

My name is Simon Roberts, son of William Roberts, DFC and Bar.   Unfortunately my father passed away two years ago but I do have his Flying Logbook which details the operations he participated in during his time at 460 Squadron.  If you think it may be useful I could photocopy the relevant pages and send them to you.   I also have some newspaper clippings as well as a photo of one of the Lancasters my father flew in.  The photo shows the nose art and the motto "Never a Dull Moment".

Also I just found a remarkable book on the Lancaster Bomber.  Called "Avro Lancaster - The Definitive Record", by Harry Holmes it contains the individual histories of each Lancaster built, all Lancaster losses from all causes, and a listing of the units that operated Lancasters.  It also has many incredible photos.  I found the book at a Collins Bookstore in Sydney.

I hope you find this information useful.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Roberts
swroberts@onaustralia.com.au

 

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From: "Simon Roberts" <swroberts@onaustralia.com.au>

Date: 15 May 1997

Subject: Re: Information on 460 Sqn

Hi Peter,

I was very impressed with your 460 Squadron Web page. I live in Meadowbank a suburb of Sydney. I want to thank you for allowing any of the information I send you about my father to be incorporated into your 460 Squadron Web page.

PD> Do you have a copy of the book on the history of 460 Squadron called
PD> "Strike and Return"? I bought my copy recently via the mail from a shop
PD> in WA.

My father had a copy of the "Strike and Return" for many years. He is mentioned towards the end of the book on pages 166 and 167. It mentions that he was squadron commander from 12 December 1944 till he finished his second tour in January 1945. His first tour was with 57 Squadron RAF at Scrampton, in the middle of his tour 617 Squadron, the dambusters, were also based at Scrampton.

My father is also mentioned in the official Australian War Memorial volume "Air Power Over Europe 1944-1945". Dad was participating in his 36th operation.

5/6 September 1944. The target was the port of Le Harve where 11,000 German troops had withdrawn.

"Accordingly on 5 September Nos. 1 and 3 Groups combined to dispatch 348 aircraft (19 from 460) in six waves against the enemy headquarters area and troop concentrations in the outer harbour. .. The RAAF Lancasters flew in three of the waves and all brought back excellent photographs of their bombing points.

Few reported any difficulties although Squadron Leader Roberts had two engines and his petrol tanks damaged after bombing from 11,600 feet; no aircraft were lost."

The navigator of Dad's plane was wounded he could not make it back to Binbrook and he had to land at Manston. Dad kept the 'Detailed Inspection Report' on his Lancaster PB152/G, that was compiled by No. 54 Maintenance Unit. It says the Starboard Outer Sub. Frame, the Starboard No. 2 Fuel tank, and the Port Bomb door were holed and had to be replaced. Quite a bit of the skin and ribs were holed and replaced as well as distorted Engine control rods had to be restored to shape.

As mentioned in Air Power Over Europe excellent photos were taken of their bombing points, Dad was able to keep one of the air photographs of Le Harve which I now have.

My father flew his 50th operation on February 1, 1945 in Lancaster PB-479 against Mannheim-Ludwigshafen. His aircraft carried one 4,000lb bomb with 10x150x4lb incendiaries and 12x60x4lb incendiaries. His fuel load was 1900 gallons. Dad completed 10 day operations and 11 night operations with 460 Squadron, he also broke the 1000 hours flying time.

I feel rather foolish because I deleted your snail mail address as I was replying to your e-mail. If you would be so kind to resend it I will send you some photocopies of my father's Flying Log Book as well as some newspaper clippings. I also have the Pilot's Notes for the Lancaster I and the Pilots and Flight engineers Notes for the Lancaster Mark I and Mark III & X. They contain excellent photos of the Cockpit layout and instruments.

If you want I could photocopy them for you as well.

Regards ,

Simon (swroberts@onaustralia.com.au)

 

 

HONOURS AND AWARDS

DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT WILLIAM EDMUND ROBERTS

CITATION

Since joining the Squadron, Flight Lieutenant ROBERTS has flown on sorties against some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany.

He has shown the greatest determination in pressing home attacks and, as captain of aircraft, has set a magnificent example of coolness and courage to less experienced captains.

Private Address: 16 Ascot Avenue, Devonport, AUCKLAND N.Z.

 

 

HONOURS AND AWARDS

BAR TO THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

WING COMMANDER WILLIAM EDMUND ROBERTS, D.F.C. (411959)

CITATION

Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Wing Commander ROBERTS has completed a second tour of operational duty. He has attacked such heavily defended targets as Essen, Duisberg and Russelheim as well as precision targets in France.

He has also flown in close support of the Army and throughout has displayed great skill and courage. As captain of aircraft, his fine airmanship and coolness in the face of the enemy have set an inspiring example to all.

On one occasion during an attack on Le Havre, his aircraft was hit by fire from the enemy's defences, the navigator being badly wounded and many flying instruments destroyed but, despite this, with great skill he flew the aircraft safely back to this country.

 

 

AUCKLAND HERALD
21 June 1943

FLYING CROSS WON

CAPTAIN OF LANCASTER

PILOT FROM DEVONPORT

Advice has been received from the Air Ministry, through the Australian Minister for Air, that Flight-Lieutenant W. E. Roberts, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Roberts, of 16 Ascot Avenue, Devonport, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is a member of the Royal Australian Air Force and is at present on operational duties as captain of a Lancaster bomber.

Flight-Lieutenant W.E. Roberts

Flight-Lieutenant Roberts joined the R.A.A.F. in June, 1941, went to Canada to continue his training and gained his wings and a commission in February, 1942. From Canada he proceeded to England and Scotland, later being posted to duties with a bomber squadron in the east of England. He has taken part in raids on Berlin, the Ruhr and Italy, and was recently promoted to the rank of flight-lieutenant.

 

SUNDAY SUN
April 1945

Bondi man
awarded
bar to DFC

Wing-Commander William Edmund Roberts, DFC, of Bondi, has been awarded a bar to his DFC.

Air Minister Drakeford said in Melbourne yesterday that Wing Commander Roberts on one occasion flew his aircraft to base after it had been hit and his flying instruments destroyed and his navigator wounded.

Other New South Wales members of the RAAF to receive the DFC are: Squadron - Leader Robert Gurney Knight, Sydney; F/L William Leach, Manly; F/O Ronald Charlie Gardner, Gatley: F/O David John Davies, Paddington; F/O Douglas Leslie Wright, Tonalba, via Newcastle; F/O Sydney John Nosworthy, Myall Lakes, via Tea Gardens; P/O Maxwell Morley Patrick, Artarmon.

 

BRITISH & AUSTRALIAN NEW ZEALAND & PACIFIC WEEKLY
30 December 1944

TEMPORARY C.O. FOR R.A.A.F.
LANCASTER UNIT

Sqdn. Ldr. W.E. Roberts, D.F.C., of Sydney, has been temporarily placed in command of an R.A.A.F. Britain-based Lancaster bomber squadron.

The sqaudron's C.O. Wing Cmdr. (now Grp. Capt.) K.R.J. Parsons, of Launceston (Tas), has been appointed to command the station to which Sqdn. Ldr. Robert's squadron is attached.

Now on his second tour of operations with R.A.F. Bomber Command, Sqdn. Ldr. Roberts joined his squadron some months ago after non-operational work with Training Command. He won the D.F.C. in June, 1943.

Sqdn. Ldr. Roberts took part in some of the first daylight Lancaster raids over France. Aged 30, he was an accountant in Sydney before joining the R.A.A.F.

 

 

ENTRIES FROM LOG BOOK OF
SQUADRON LEADER WILLIAM EDWARD ROBERTS

460 RAAF Squadron

              AIRCRAFT
Month/   Type           No.      Pilot, or   2nd Pilot, Pupil            DUTY
Date                             1st Pilot   or Passenger       Including Results and Remarks
July 2   Lancaster III  ND-864   Self        Sgt. Knott         'Y' Training
1944                                         F/O Torrisi
                                             W/O Varley
                                             F/O Dawes
                                             Sgt. Glenn
July 4   Lancaster III  ND-864   Self        Crew &             'Y' Training
1944                                         P/O Sutton F/E
July 6   Lancaster I    LL-952   Self        Crew &             Operation 30 'Foret Du Croc
1944     11X1,000lb.    4X500lb. 1200gals.   Sgt. Gray F/E      (Flying Bomb Site) Aiming
                                                                point photo
July 12  Lancaster I    ME-776    Self        Full Crew         Operation 31 - Tours -
1944     11X1,000lb.    3X500lb.  1,500gals.                    Marshalling Yards
July 18  Lancaster III  ND-713    Self        Crew &            V.I. Training
1944                                          F/S Gant
July 18  Lancaster III  ND-713    Self        Crew &            V.I. Training
1944                                          F/S Gant          & bombing
July 20  Lancaster III  NE-144    Self        Crew &            V.I. Training
1944                                          F/S Jago
July 21  Lancaster III  PB-155    Self        Crew &            V.I. Training
1944                                          F/S Jago 
July 21  Lancaster III  PB-155    Self        Crew &            V.I. Training
1944                                          F/S Jago 
July 23  Lancaster III  PB-125    Self        Crew &            V.I. Training
1944                                          F/S Jago 
July 23  Lancaster III  PB-175    Self        Crew &            'Z' Training
1944                                          F/S Wilkinson  
July 24  Lancaster III  PB-125    Self        Crew &            V.I. Training
1944                                          F/S Jago
July 25  Lancaster III  PB-176    Self        Crew              R/T Test
1944
Aug 2    Lancaster III  PB-125    Self        Crew              Operation 32. Chateau Venapre
1944     12X1,000lb.    2X500lb.  1,300gals. (Flying Bomb Site) Formation Leader A.P. O'LAP
Aug 4    Lancaster III  PB-152    Self        F/O Fordham       Air Test - Landed Carnaby
1944                                          & Crew
Aug 7    Lancaster III  PB-352    Self        Crew              Operation 33. 2nd Army Support
1944     11X 1000lb,    4X500lb.  1300gals.                     Fontenay Le Marmion
Aug 18   Lancaster III  PB-152    Self        Crew              Operation 34 - Oil Supply Depot
1944     13X1,000lb,    4X500lb.  1200gals.                     Ghent - Terneuzen
Aug 21   Lancaster III  PB-152    Self        Crew               V.I.
1944
Aug 25   Lancaster III  PB-152    Self        Crew &             Operations 35
1944     1X4,000lb.     16X500                F/O Grimmett       Russelsheim
Aug 30   Lancaster III  PB-152    Self        A.C. Wray          Special Exercise Monica JU/88
1944                                          & Crew
Sept 5   Lancaster III  PB-152    Self        Crew               Operation 36. Le Havre
1944     13X1,000lb.    4X500lb.  1200gals.   Shot up - Flak     Nav. wounded, landed Manston
Sept 6   Lancaster III  PB-212    Self        Crew &             Manston - Base
1944                                          F/L Anderson 
Sept 16  Lancaster III  PB-175    Self        Crew               Operation 37. Airfield
1944     20X500lb.      1,300gals                                Rheine - Salzbergen
Sept 23  Lancaster III  PB-479    Self        Crew               Operation 38 - Neuss -
1944     12X1000lb.     4X500lb.  1350gals                       Dusseldorf
Sept 25  Lancaster III  PB-479    Self        Crew               Calais - Gun Site
1944                                          Bombs brought back. Target obscured by cloud.
Sept 26  Lancaster III  PB-479    Self        Crew               Cap Gris Nez. - Gun Site
1944     13X1,000lb.    4X500lb.  1300gals.                      Operation 39
Oct 7    Lancaster III  PB-479    Self        Crew               Operation 40. - Emmerich
1944     1X4000lb.      16X500lb. 1200gals.  
Oct 12   Lancaster III  PB-479    Self        Crew &             Bombing and Air Firing
1944                                          Sgt. Manning
Oct 14   Lancaster III  PB-479    Self        W/Cdr Parsons      Operation 41. - Duisburg
1944                    1X4000lb. 16X500      Crew               1,000+ Aircraft
Oct 15   Lancaster      PB-479    Self        Crew               Operation 42 - Duisburg
1944     13X1,000lb.    4X500lb.  1300gals                       1000+ Aircraft
Oct 16   Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew &            Base - Bruntingthorpe - Base
1944                                           F/O Watts
Oct 25   Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew              Operation 43 - Essen
1944     12X1,000lb.    4X500lb.  1465gals.
Oct 27   Lancaster      PB-152    Self         Crew              'Y' Bombing - Landed Middleton-
1944                                                             St. - George
Oct 29   Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew              Operation 44 - Domburg
1944     13X1,000lb.    4X500lb.  1,200gals    P/O Curren. M/U.
Nov 9    Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew &            Operation 45 - Wanne - Eickel.
1944     1X4000lb.      16X500lb. 1400gals.    F/L Morgan M/U    (Synthetic Oil - Krupps)
                                               Formation Leader  
Nov 21   Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew &            Operation 46 - Asghaffenburg
1944     1X4,000lb.     16X500lb. 1700gals.    P/O Heggie (2nd P) JU-88 attack
                                               On 3 engines for six hours 
Nov 30   Lancaster      PB-116    Self         Crew &            A.G.L.T.
1944                                           F/O Butler
Dec 3    Lancaster      PB-175    Self         Crew              Operation 47 - Urft Dam
1944     14X1,000lb.    1450gals.                                near Aachen
Dec 14   Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew              A.G.L.T. Test & Bombing
1944
Dec 28   Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew &            Operation 48
1944     8X1,000lb.     8X500lb.  1,700gals    W/O Main M/U      Munchen - Gladbach
Jan 6    Lancaster      PB-479    Self         Crew              Operation 49
1945     1X4,000lb      16X500lb. 1850gals                       Hanau
Feb 1    Lancaster      PB-479    Self         S.Ife             Operation 50
1945                                           F/S Eyres         Mannheim - Ludwigshafen
                                               F/S Wood
                                               W/O Clapp         1X4000lb., 10X150X4lb Inc.
                                               F/S Clough        12X60X4lb. Inc., 1900 gallons
                                               F/O Tuck

 

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Subject:   Re: 460 Squadron Home Page
Date:           Mon, 5 Jan 1998
From:          "Simon Roberts" (
swroberts@onaustralia.com.au)

Hi Peter,

I have visited the 460 Squadron Home page and the animated graphics came up just fine. I am using Internet Explorer 4 as my browser and there were no problems at all.

Also I may be able to send you some more photos for you to incorporate into the homepage. As soon as my mate who owns a scanner, scans them for me I will be able to append them to my next email.

Keep up the good work, the improvements and additions you have added to the homepage are impressive.

Regards Simon Roberts
swroberts@onaustralia.com.au

 

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This page first produced 26 June 1997

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