Only "radar" V.C.

SPalmerRAM115772v10022.jpg

Title

Only "radar" V.C.

Description

Gives account of Robert Palmer leading formation while being fitted with secret "Oboe radar equipment which required him to fly straight and level for 10 minutes while also being engaged by enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire.

Date

1945-09-01

Temporal Coverage

Language

Type

Format

One newspaper cutting on an album page

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Contributor

Identifier

SPalmerRAM115772v10022

Transcription

THE REPORTER, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1945.

ONLY "RADAR" V.C.

Squadron – Leader R.A.M. Palmer of Gravesend

The secret behind the war's only "RADAR V.C." – awarded posthumously nine months ago to Squadron-Leader R.A.M. Palmer, of Bellman-avenue, Gravesend – can now be revealed.

His was the R.A.F's 23rd V.C. of the war and the story of how he gained the supreme award began in the pilot's seat of a bomber ten minutes away from Cologne. In that bomber, the leader of a formation of 14 and the only one to be fitted with the then highly secret "Oboe" Radar equipment, Squadron-Leader Palmer listened tensely to a steady buzzing in his head-phones.

He knew that while he heard that buzzing note he and the formation were still on the narrow radar beam which would send their bombs without the chance of a miss on the vital Cologne bridge.

Behind him his gunners and those of his formation battled furiously with 20 German fighters. From the anti-aircraft guns below jagged shell splinters ripped into Sqd.-Leader Palmer's plane, setting one wing ablaze and completely crippling an engine.

But still he could hear the buzzing note and he kept straight on. For ten long minutes of cool, deliberate courage he allowed himself to be a sitting target for what seemed to be all the fighters and flak in Germany.

Then, on a signal from a remote radar station in Norfolk, the navigator released the bombs – and with them those of the other bombers – straight on the target which he never saw.

The ordeal was over. The damaged bomber slid over on its side and spun to the ground. It was one of five that did not return.

The story of Squadron-Leader Palmer's superb courage was told by his fellow officers of the R.A.F.'s famous 109 Pathfinder Squadron, of which Squadron-Leader R.H. Sleep, D.F.C. of New Barn, was then a member.

Citation

“Only "radar" V.C.,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 19, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/38279.

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