From the newspapers



From the newspapers


Accounts from Evening Standard, Daily Mirror and Daily Express. Concerning award of Victoria Cross for Robert Palmer. Gives tribute from his squadron commander and headmaster. Mirror noted he was always selected for tough jobs. A gives comments by his father and his chief clerk. Express states he was more reserved than most.




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[underlined] EVENING STANDARD [/underlined]

Palmer, V.C.’s 110th Mission: He Scorned Nazi Fighter Attacks


Wing Commander R.C. Cobbe, his squadron commander (sic), paid this tribute to him:

“He was the type of officer whom every squadron commander wants to have in his squadron, but few have the good fortune to find.

His personality and energy led him to take an active in all the various activities of Service life and made him popular and respected by all ranks. The interest he took in his work and his loyalty to his squadron, coupled with his eagerness to engage the enemy, made him an outstanding captain.

The climax of his Service career was raeched when by his courageous action he refused to be beaten and pressed home his attack against overwhelming odds on the last operation.

Nevertheless, it is certain that, having released his bombs, his greatest concern was for the safety of his crew, who so magnificently supported him on his last sortie.”

The Rev. S. Lister, headmaster of Gravesend County School, said: “Palmer was a boy of fine character, quiet and determined.”

“A shy boy – very much liked by everyone, but very, very quiet and reserved,” was how Mr.Frank Jennings, Chief Clerk in the Borough Engineer’s office described the new V.C. “He came here straight from school at the end of 1936 as a junior clerk, and actually he was my office boy. We were all fond of him.”

“He talked aircraft and airmen ever since he could stand outside the airport near his home at Gravesend. He would listen enthralled to his father’s stories of flying in the last war.” Says Mrs. Palmer of her family: “It’s flying, flying all the day.”

[underlined] DAILY MIRROR [/underlined]

At 24 he was ‘tough jobs’ ace

The V.C. – 134th of the war – was always selected for operations where desperate danger had to be ignored to get results. And last night his parents still hoped Bob “would get through.”

His father said: “He came through so many times before. My wife and I refuse to give up hope that he will come back again – smiling as always.”

Mr. Jennings, Bob’s chief clerk said: “The nicest thing you could say about him wouldn’t be too good. He would never talk about his exploits in the RAF. He came into the office one day with a rather nasty scar on his chin, and I said: ‘Hullo [sic], what’s been happening to you?’ He replied with a perfectly straight face: Well, as a matter of fact, I took another fellow’s girl out, and he happened to spot me.’ His young brother, now a sergeant-pilot, told me later that Bob had narrowly escaped being killed in a crash.”

[underlined] DAILY EXPRESS [/underlined]


Of many Royal Air Force men it can be said that they are quiet, shy even, and that they like their flying tough. But the man to whom they drank in R.A.F. messes last night was more reserved than most . . . A good type, they said of him . . .

So the man who never talked much took his Lancaster straight in through a blanket of flak, through the German fighter’s bullets . . .


“From the newspapers,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 13, 2024,

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