Newspaper cuttings - secret out on only radar V.C and followed father won V.C.



Newspaper cuttings - secret out on only radar V.C and followed father won V.C.


Top - now reveals that the operation for which Robert Palmer was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross involved his use of highly secret "Oboe" which meant he had to fly straight and level while being engaged by enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire.
Bottom - mentions that Robert Palmers father flew in the first world war and it was no surprise he joined the RAF. Mentions award of DFCs and Victoria Cross with brief description of action leading to award.



Temporal Coverage




Two newspaper cuttings on an album page


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[italics] Brig. C.W. Raw (right) at the plotting table in Coastal Artillery operations [missing letter]oom. [/italics]

(1) First story of new kind of Hero – the man who flew along a radar beam.

(2) How did we hit Channel sneak-ships in fog? The "impossible" done by radar.

[italics] By 'Daily Sketch' Correspondent [/italics]

(1) Nine months ago when the R.A.F.'s 23rd V.C. of the war was awarded posthumously to Squadron-Leader Robert A.M. Palmer, this story could not be told. Only now can the secret behind the war's only "Radar V.C." be revealed.

It 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 headphones.

He knew that while [missing word] 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 Squadron-Leader Palmer's plane, setting one wing ablaze and completely crippling an engine.

[italics] Kept Straight On [/italics]

But still Squadron-Leader Palmer 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 given to me by his fellow officers of the R.A.F.'s famous 109 Pathfinder Squadron.

[page break]

[inserted] Daily Herald March 24th 1945 [/inserted]


IT was a case of "like father, like son," in the Palmer family, of Bellman-Avenue, Gravesend.

Action Squadron-Leader Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer, long before the war, was made about flying, and his last-war airman father was always being pressed to tell his experiences in the Western Front air 25 years ago.

And so it was no surprise to anybody when Robert joined the RAF and became a bomber pilot.

Honours came quickly. First the D.F.C.; soon after a bar to the D.F.C.

And last night it was announced that he has been awarded the V.C. for bravery while leading a raid on Cologne in December.

Palmer, V.C.

A pilot of No. 109 Lancaster Squadron, Bob, as he was known, was 24 years old, and was always selected for special operations against vital targets.

This is what the V.C. citation says of his exploit over Cologne:

"Before the target was reached, his aircraft came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. Two engines were set alight.

"Enemy fighters now attacked in force. Squadron-Leader Palmer ignored the double risk of fire and explosion, and kept on.

"Squadron-Leader Palmer displayed conspicuous bravery and his record of prolonged and heroic endeavour is beyond praise.”

But Bob did not return from Cologne. His plane was last seen spiralling to earth in flames.


“Newspaper cuttings - secret out on only radar V.C and followed father won V.C.,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 23, 2024,

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