ROBERTSON Colin Graham 41210

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Colin Graham ROBERTSON DFC

From Australia serving in the Royal Air Force

Service No: 41210 (RAF)
Born: Edinburgh, Scotland, 21 December 1917
Commissioned in the RAF: 29 September 1938
Unit: No. 278 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Thorney Island, Hampshire
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 26 June 1942
Died: Air Operations (No. 278 Squadron Walrus aircraft L2271), North Sea, 5 March 1945, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Eric and Phyllis Chilton Robertson of Kalamunda, Western Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 266, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Commemorative Roll, Australian War Memorial, Canberra

DFC Citation: “Flight Lieutenant Robertson has been a member of a (No. 95 Squadron (RAF)) Sunderland aircrew since November 1939. He was appointed Captain in March 1941 and during this period he has completed 2,000 flying hours of which 1,780 have been on operational flights. Flight Lieutenant Robertson has displayed outstanding qualities of leadership and reliability. He has completed his missions cheerfully under adverse weather conditions. On one occasion he located
three lifeboats containing 75 survivors from a merchant vessel that was torpedoed in the Atlantic. He alighted, transhipped the survivors to the aircraft and despite confused ocean swell, succeeded in taking off and bringing them back without any damage to the aircraft.” London Gazette 26 June 1942, page 2819.

Walrus L2271 of 278 Squadron took off from RAF Thorney Island at 0835 hours on 6 March 1945 to search for a Hurricane pilot reported to have baled out 3 miles east of Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire. L2271 had been scrambled from Beccles, with the search area being a distance of 140 miles. On reaching the area, the pilot Flight Lieutenant Robertson informed the Controller that he was going down to search. Nothing more was heard until 10 minutes later when a Spitfire pilot
reported he had seen a Walrus dive straight into the sea. L2271 had crashed about 5 miles north east of Bridlington, and east of Flamborough Head. Immediately another Walrus and Warwick aircraft were sent out to search plus 2 Air Sea Rescue high speed launches. Aircraft wreckage was found but no survivors were seen. It was later recorded that the missing crew had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of L2271 were:

Warrant Officer Leonard Albert Gordon Carpenter (1195300) (RAFVR) (Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Colin Graham Robertson DFC (41210) (RAF) (Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant Cecil Gloucester Walker MID (406336) (Gunner)

References:

Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/36/500