1183329 F/Sgt Robert James Rogers RAFVR

Bob Rogers came from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands and enlisted in July 1940. He first went to Cardington  - 10(Signal)RC at Blackpool - 2 Signals School Yatesbury where he would have flown in Proctors and Dominies - 5 Air Observers School Jurby who were flying Henleys and Blenheims.

November 1941 Arrived at 27 O.T.U. Lichfield No.14 W.Op/Air Gunner Course.

During this Course a Crew of  4 Australians were forming F/Sgt R.A. Brittingham Pilot - Sgt N.H.Simpson Navigator - F/Sgt W.M.J. Matchett Bomb Aimer - Sgt R.A. Johns Gunner - Gunner and it was in May 42 they asked Bob Rogers to join them as W.Op/Air Gunner. They were all posted to 460 Sqdn at Breighton nr Selby in Yorkshire to fly Wellingtons.

For the first 3 Operations Rogers flew with experienced crews flying 2 Gardenning Ops (laying of mines) and a Bombing mission to Emden. On the 26th June the Crew flew their first mission together to St Nazaire where Sgt Johns shot out a searchlight from 2000ft, there next 4 missions included Bremen and Duisburg but on a raid to Saarbrucken on the 29th July they were attacked by an ME110 which caused severe damage and killed Sgt Johns the rear gunner. The aircraft landed at Manston in Kent and his body was removed and buried nearby in Aylesham Cemetery. 2 more missions were flown to Dusseldorf and on their final Wellington raid to Osnabruck Sgt P.J.Henderson the Rear Gunner shot down a JU88 and was awarded the DFM. but the crew were fortunate as considerable damage had been done and the aircraft crash landed at Breighton. In August 42 the Sqdn converted to Lancasters.

The core of the Crew for the Lancaster remained and was now P/O R.A. Brittingham Pilot - Sgt T.H. Williams Engineer - F/Sgt N.H. Simpson Navigator - F/Sgt R.J. Rogers W.Op/AG - F/Sgt W.M.J. Matchett Bomb Aimer - Sgt I.G. Brodie Gunner - F/Sgt J.K. Swain Gunner. On the 28th November they went on their first mission to Turin then Mannheim, several Gardenning Ops followed and then on their 8th Lancaster Operation 27th January 43 they took off from Breighton in their favourite aircraft W4817 UV-K at 17.14 for a raid to Dusseldorf  but were shot down over Vierson Ummer near the target. All the crew were killed and their final resting place was Rheinberg C.W.G. near Duisburg.

Bob Rogers was 22 and had been in the RAF for 2  years and had completed 21 Ops, he did not win any awards nor his story unusual. 978 Aircrew died whilst flying with 460 Sqdn.

Acknowledgement - Extracts taken from the book 'Strike and Return' by Peter Firkins

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