Flying Officer Robert Bruce TUFF MID

Service No: 409257
Born: Seddon VIC, 11 July 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 263 Squadron (RAF)
Awarded the Mentioned in Despatches (MID), 22 June 1944
Died: Air Operations: (No. 263 Squadron Typhoon aircraft JR302), of the French Coast, 22 February 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert H. and Margaret Campbell Tuff, of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Bendigo VIC
Remembered: Panel 258, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

The award of the Mentioned in Despatches was promulgated in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 22 June 1944, page 1253, position 16.

During the course of an operational patrol on 22 February 1944 Flying Officer Tuff flying Typhoon JR 302 heard his Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader Geoffrey Berrington Warnes DSO DFC (78429) (RAFVR) who was leading the formation state over his radio at 1150 hours that he was going to ditch his aircraft. This was believed to be at a position 8 miles north-west of Guernsey. Warnes aircraft sank immediately. Flying Officer Tuff and other pilots orbited the spot and Tuff was heard to say twice that he had seen Warnes in the water. FO Tuff then stated he thought Warnes was injured, and he was going to bale out to help him. Flight Lieutenant Racine the Deputy Leader forbade Tuff to do this, but Tuff repeated that he was going to bale out. No more was seen or heard of him by the other aircraft but at 1210 hours a Typhoon was seen to dive vertically into the area which was being orbited. Despite Air/Sea rescue by aircraft of every type and by launches, nothing more was seen or heard of Flying Officer Tuff or Squadron Leader Warnes. The Squadron circumstantial report stated that “it seems certain that Flying Officer Tuff did in fact bale out in order to try and help his Commanding Officer. The weather was bitterly cold and freezing at sea level, with a moderate north east wind which made the sea rather rough.” In 1949 it was recorded that Flying Officer Tuff had lost his life at sea.


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, 166/40/154


Ilbery, P.L.T. (Peter Leslie Thomas) (422957) Hatching an Air Force: 2SFTS, 5SFTS, 1BFTS Uranquinty and Wagga Wagga, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 2002

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