Flight Sergeant Robert Ian ROBB

Service No: 408736
Born: Canterbury VIC 12 April 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1941
Unit: No. 103 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Elsham Wolds
Died: Air Operations: (No. 103 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4820), France, 21 December 1942, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Vavincourt Communal Cemetery, Meuse, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Mathieson Robb and Margaret Robb, of Canterbury, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Camberwell VIC
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster W4820 took off from Elsham Wolds at 1738 hours on the night of 21 December 1942, detailed to bomb Munchen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research & Enquiry team later reported “The aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and exploded in the air. It crashed near Vavincourt situated approximately 24 miles south west of Verdun.” Six of the crew members were killed and one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of W4820 were:

Sergeant Colin Evan Bayliss (406555) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 20 November 1945
Pilot Officer Ivor George Arthur Faulk (83803) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant John Massey Jefferies (405154) (Navigator)
Sergeant Arthur Jeffreys (1512110) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Gwilym Nicholls (951248) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant George Henry Kitchen (943904) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Robert Ian Robb (408736) (Wireless Air Gunner)

Sergeant Bayliss later reported “The aircraft blew up after a night fighter attack. I escaped by parachute. I was captured on 26 January by German sentry after being in France for 5 weeks. All the others were killed.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/36/2


Charlwood, D.E.C. (Donald Ernest Cameron) (408794) No Moon Tonight (Angus and Robertson 1956), Penguin Ringwood VIC, 3134, 1991

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