24 April 1944 - Six Heinkel 111s were shot down by four RAF Mustangs yesterday over an airfield near Dijon, 250 miles from the Channel coast.
Distinguished Flying Cross
LONDON GAZETTE, 13 October 1944 -
Flight Lieutenant Burra-Robinson has set a fine example of keenness and devotion to duty. He has displayed exceptional fighting qualities and on one occasion in August 1944, he accounted for three enemy aircraft destroyed of a force of twenty, bringing his personal score of destroyed aircraft to six. His leadership has been of a high order.
A Short History by Lance Burra-Robinson
"We were staying with friends in Scotland when war was announced. On the way back home, I called in at Cambridge, went to the local R.A.F. recruiting office and signed on. I wasn’t summoned until March 1940 when I reported to Uxbridge. After five days of kitting out I was sent back to Cambridge – billeted in the College next to my old one – for a couple of months of square-bashing and lectures on navigation and how to take a machine-gun to bits.
Then to E.F.T.S. at White Waltham, near Maidenhead, on Tigers. When my instructor later asked me what types I wanted to go onto, I naturally said fighters. However, when our postings came through, I was down for a twin-engine F.T.S. Fortunately my instructor was a peppery type who didn’t like his recommendations being ignored. He telephoned Group and got it changed. I then found myself going on a so-called “pre-fighter” course for a fortnight – still on Tigers !
F.T.S. was at Kidlington, near Oxford, on Harvards. The most noteworthy event there was having a look through our flight commander’s logbook and finding an entry for a few months earlier saying, “Routine patrol. Two Blenheims shot down in error” !
On being given a Commission, I found myself, much to my disgust, posted to Army Co-op. O.T.U. at Old Sarum, Salisbury, on Lysanders. When the course ended, I was held back as an instructor. I was there for some time although we moved to near Chester and the aircraft changed, via Tomahawks, to Mustang 1s. Eventually I managed to get a posting to a fighter squadron at Gravesend.
This was 122 Sq. who, with 10 Sq. and 65 Sq made up 122 Wing then equipped with Spitfire 1Xs but before long converting to Mustang 111s. With these aircraft, being the only Wing in the R.A.F. with them, our main jobs were escorting the U.S.A.A.F. daylight raids on Germany and RAF Beaufighter attacks on shopping convoys. Also, taking advantage of the long range of the Mustang, we did Rangers – sorties fairly deep into the occupied territory where almost the only German flying was going on. The Rangers could be in any strength, from four aircraft to full Wing. Four of us, organised by a Norwegian in our squadron, did one to shoot up anything flying or on an aerodrome in Denmark.
With the imminence of the Invasion, we were transferred to 83 Group in the 2nd. T.A.F. and they hung huge bombs under each wing – first 250 pounders, the 500 lbs and finally 1000lbs. The latter, unfortunately, started going off shortly after being released so it was back to 2x500lbs. We moved to a field near Ford for the invasion and soon after we were operating from strips in Normandy. With the army’s advance we moved eastwards as far as Brussels and on to a regular aerodrome where we saw the Dakota supply operation in full swing – up to 50 of them in a bunch landing in line astern about twenty paces separating them. We flew up there, of course, but the ground crews traveled in convoys getting cheered and waved at all the way, with flowers and fruit being offered. They did say later that some the apples seemed to be flung with unnecessary force! I had taken over 65 Sq. by this time.
After operating from Grimbergen for a time we were brought back to Andrews Field in Essex for our old job of escorting daylight bombing of Germany – but now R.A.F. Bomber Command were joining in. Instead of in tight boxes like the Americans, they flew in loose gaggles of independent aircraft which could be anything from thirty miles long, five miles wide and five or six thousand feet deep according to the whims of the skippers.
Our Wing was going to be moved up to Scotland to escort shipping around Norway, at which point I was posted to take over an O.T.U. which was going to convert from Spitfires to Mustangs. After two or three months or so, I was given charge of a new two-squadron wing which, it was rumoured, was to go the Far East. Rumour also had it that we would be re-equipped with Hornets. Whatever the truth, I was sent off on a conversion course onto Meteors, the war was looking like ending before many months were past, and, soon after my return, I was posted to 10 Group Headquarters in Nottingham from where, in about September 1945, I was demobbed."
Victories Include :
5.25 / 0 / 2 plus 1.5 On The Ground
Shores says 3 damaged but only lists 2
Thanks go out to
son Nick & daughter Sally for the photos & infos !
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