posted by Steffen » Sat 11. Aug 2012, 15:41
edited by wittyhawk » Tue 21. Oct 2014, 12:49
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General Information

Military Branch:
Royal Air Force (United Kingdom) 
Serial Number:
Bomber Command 
No. 582 Squadron RAF 
Airborne 10:27 on 23 Dec 1944 from Little Staughton – on a daylight mission – as Oboe-equipped Master Bomber – to bomb the Gremberg marshalling yards in Cologne / Köln. Shot down by Flak over the target. For his outstanding valour, S/L Palmer, who had been attached from No.109 Sqdn, was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross, gazetted 23 Mar 1945. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Anthony_Maurice_Palmer and below. He had completed 110 operational sorties. Six of the crew are buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

S/L R.A.M.Palmer VC DFC Bar 115772 RAFVR (Pilot) killed
F/L O.S.Milne DFC 132625 RAFVR (Flt Engr) killed
S/L A.L.Carter DFC 44553 RAF (Navigator) killed
F/L G.Russell DFC 129583 RAFVR (Bomb Aimer) killed
F/S B.Nundy 1671822 RAFVR (WOp AG) killed
F/O W.Dalgarno 161283 RAFVR (Mid Up AG) killed
F/S R.K.Yeulett 552477 RAF (Rear AG) injured, PoW

The only survivor, the Rear AG, F/S R.K.Yeulett was confined in Hospital due injuries. No PoW No.

Citation for the award of a posthumous VC to S/L Palmer gazetted 23 Mar 1945:

"This officer has completed 110 bombing missions. Most of them involved deep penetration of heavily-defended territory many were low-level marking operations against vital targets; all were executed with tenacity, high courage and great accuracy. He first went on operations in January, 1941. He took part in the first 1,000-bomber raid against Cologne in 1942. He was one of the first pilots to drop a 4,000-lb. bomb on the Reich. It was known that he could be relied upon to press home his attack whatever the opposition and to bomb with great accuracy. He was always selected, therefore, to take part in special operations against vital targets. The finest example of his courage and determination was on 23rd December, 1944, when he led a formation of Lancasters to attack the marshalling yards at Cologne in daylight. He had the task of marking the target, and his formation had been ordered to bomb as soon as the bombs had gone from his, the leading aircraft. The leader’s duties during the final bombing run were exacting and demanded coolness and resolution. To achieve accuracy he would have to fly at an exact height and air speed on a steady course, regardless of opposition. Some minutes before the target was reached, his aircraft came under heavy anti-aircraft fire, shells burst all around, two engines were set on fire and there were flames and smoke in the nose and in the bomb bay. Enemy fighters now attacked in force. Squadron Leader Palmer disdained the possibility of taking avoiding action. He knew that if he diverged the least bit from his course, he would be unable to utilise the special equipment to the best advantage. He was determined to complete the run and provide an accurate and easily seen aiming-point for the other bombers. He ignored the double risk of fire and explosion in his aircraft and kept on. With his engines developing unequal power, an immense effort was needed to keep the damaged aircraft on a straight course . Nevertheless, he made a perfect approach and his bombs hit the target. His aircraft was last seen spiraling to earth in flames. Such was the strength of the opposition that more than half of his formation failed to return. S/L Palmer was an outstanding pilot. He displayed conspicuous bravery. His record of prolonged and heroic endeavour is beyond praise."

PB371 was one of five No.582 Sqdn Lancasters lost on this operation. See: PB120, PB141, PB523, PB558.

Serial range PA964 - PD196 This aircraft was one of 800 Lancasters ordered from A.V.Roe Apr 1943 of which 756 were delivered as 255 Mk.Is, 500 Mk.II1s and one Lancastrian between May 1944 and Mar 1945 mainly from Chadderton with 87 from Yeadon. The Mk.IIIs had Merlin 38 engines initially installed except the late production models with Merlin 224 engines PB371 was a Mk.III and was delivered to No.7 Sqdn Jul 1944, to No.9 Sqdn Aug 1944 to 582 Sqdn Nov 1944 No operational history. No record of total hours.

McNeill, Ross (ed.). (2003). Air Force PoWs 1939 to 1945: Compiled from AIR 20/2336.

Chorley, W R. (1997). RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Vol 5 – 1944. Midland Publishing. ISBN: 0904597911.
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Start Airport:
Little Staughton 
Cologne / Köln 
Loss Location:
Köln (vicinity/Umgebung) Germany
antiaircraft gun 
Shot by:
Luftwaffe Casualty-No.:
Former / Ehemaliger Website lostbombers.co.uk
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ID Rank Name Position Destiny Date of birth Personal ID Burial Place
1 Squadron Leader Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer VC DFC & Bar Pilot killed 1920-07-07 115772 RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY, Joint grave 14. C. 13-14.
2 Flight Lieutenant Owen Strachan Milne DFC Flight Engineer killed 0000-00-00 132625 RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY, 14. C. 12.
3 Squadron Leader Albert Leslie Carter DFC RAF Navigator killed 0000-00-00 44553 RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY, 14. C. 10.
4 Flight Lieutenant George Russell DFC Bomb Aimer killed 0000-00-00 129583 RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY, Joint grave 14. C. 13-14.
5 Flight Sergeant Bert Nundy WOp AG killed 0000-00-00 1671822 RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY, 14. C. 9.
6 Flying Officer William Dalgarno Mid Upper Gunner killed 0000-00-00 161283 RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY, 14. C. 11.
7 Flight Sergeant R K Yeulett RCAF Rear Gunner prisoner of war 0000-00-00 552477


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