Newspaper cuttings concerning Robert Palmers award of Victoria Cross

SPalmerRAM115772v10029.jpg

Title

Newspaper cuttings concerning Robert Palmers award of Victoria Cross

Description

Top - Squadron Leader Robert A.M. Palmer V.C. Announces award of Victoria Cross after being reported missing after a particularly hazardous daylight operation over Cologne. Includes head and shoulder b/w photograph of Robert Palmer wearing uniform.
Right - V.C. award to missing pilot, led day attack on Cologne. Short account of action leading to award of Victoria Cross.
Bottom - In blazing Lancaster, he scorned danger, flew on to target. heroism beyond praise of new air V.C. Account of service history and last operation from which he failed top return and was awarded the Victoria Cross.

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Format

Three newspaper cuttings on an album page

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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.

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Identifier

SPalmerRAM115772v10029

Transcription

[Photograph]

SQUADRON LEADER ROBERT A.M. PALMER, V.C.

The V.C. has been awarded to Acting Squadron Leader Palmer, an R.A.F. bomber pilot, who had completed more than 100 missions and who was reported missing after a particularly hazardous daylight operation over Cologne last December. The finest example of his courage and determination was on December 23, 1944, when he led a formation of Lancasters to the marshalling yards at Cologne. With his aircraft on fire, he disdained the possibility of taking avoiding action and kept on to bomb the target. His aircraft was last seen diving to earth.

[Page Break]

[underlined] IN A BLAZING LANCASTER, HE SCORNED DANGER, FLEW ON TO TARGET [/underlined]

Heroism Beyond Praise Of New Air V.C.

Twenty-four-year-old Acting Squadron Leader Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer, R.A.F.V.R., 109 Squadron, who was always selected for special operations against vital targets, has been awarded the V.C.

Palmer, a double D.F.C., whose home is at Gravesend, was reported missing after he had made a superb and accurate attack in a blazing Lancanster [sic] on the marshalling yards at Cologne. His plane was last seen spiralling to earth in flames.

The citation reads:-
“This officer has completed 110 bombing missions. Many were low-level ‘marking’ operations against vital targets, and all were executed with tenacity, high courage and great accuracy.”

“He first went on operations in January, 1941. He took part in the first 1000 bomber raid against Cologne in 1942. He was one of the first pilots to drop a 4000 lb. bomb on the Reich.

“It was known he could be relied on to press home his attack whatever the opposition”

Two Engines On Fire.

Dealing with the action which won the V.C., the citation says :-

“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.

“Some minutes before the target was reached his aircraft came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. Two engines were set on fire.

“Enemy fighters attacked in force. Squadron Leader Palmer disdained the possibility of taking avoiding action.

“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. His bombs hit the target.

“Such was strength of the opposition that more than half of his formation failed to return.

“Squadron Leader Palmer’s record of prolonged and heroic endeavour id beyond praise.

Ideal Type.

“Wing Commander R.C. Cobbe, his squadron commander in a tribute said he was the type of officer whom every squadron commander wants to have in his squadron, but few have the good fortune to find.

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

This is the 134th V.C of the present war, and the 23rd awarded to members of the R.A.F.

[Page Break]

V.C. AWARD TO MISSING PILOT

[inserted] Daily Telegraph [/inserted]

LED DAY ATTACK ON COLOGNE

Acting Sqdn-Ldr. Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer, R.A.F.V.R., 109 Squadron, a double D.F.C., aged 24, who was reported missing after he had made an attack in a blazing Lancaster on the marshalling yards at Cologne, has been awarded the V.C.

His plane was last seen spiralling to earth in flames.

Sqdn.-Ldr. Palmer, whose home is at Gravesend, had completed 110 bombing missions. Many were low-level “marking” operations against vital targets.

“It was known that he could be relied on to press home his attack whatever the opposition and to bomb with great accuracy,” said the citation. “He was always selected, therefore, to take part in special operations against vital targets.”

PLANE IN FLAMES

The finest example of his courage and determination was on Dec. 23, 1944, when he led a formation of Lancasters to attack the marshalling yards at Cologne in daylight. He has the task of marking the target.

A few minutes before the target was reached his aircraft came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. Two engines were set on fire and there were flames and smoke in the nose and the bomb bay.

Enemy fighters attacked in force. Sqdn-Ldr. 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.

“Nevertheless he made a perfect approach and his bombs hit the target” the citation says.

Such was the strength of the opposition that more than half of his formation failed to return.

“Sqdn.-Ldr. Palmer was an outstanding pilot. He displayed conspicuous bravery. His record of prolonged and heroic endeavours is beyond praise.”

Citation

“Newspaper cuttings concerning Robert Palmers award of Victoria Cross,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 30, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/38286.

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