|Forenames||ROBERT 'Bobby' WALLACE|
|Surname||BLAIR (photo added)|
|Place of Birth||TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA|
|Date of Birth||Unknown|
|Date of Death||Tuesday, 18 July 1944|
|Residence or Entered Service From||TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA|
|Service Number||J/28897||Force||Royal Canadian Air Force|
|Service/Corps/Regiment||Royal Canadian Air Force|
|Unit / Ship / Battalion / Squadron||427 (Royal Canadian Air Force) Squadron|
|Military Honours and Awards|
|Place of Burial/Commemoration||
BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY
Roll of honour
|Grave/Memorial Location||XXV. E. 5.|
|Previous Place(s) of Burial||Unknown|
|Family Details||SON OF GEORGE AND IRENE BLAIR, OF TORONTO, ONTARIO.|
ROBERT WALLACE BLAIR was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in September 1924. He was flying on Halifax, Mk III, LV985 ZL-K, flying with 427 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, from RAF Leeming. They had taken off at 03.15hrs on the morning of the 18th July 1944, to bomb a German strong point at Mondeville, Normandy, France, ahead of the Allied advance.
All 7 crew members were killed on the mission, they were an experienced crew and were about 2/3rds of the way through their tour.1 Evidence from the War Diary for 427 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, states that the aircraft was hit by anti-Aircraft fire. Anecdotal evidence was provided by the family, who were told that the aircraft was lost in a blue-on-blue (friendly fire) incident.
The crew were:
Pilot Officer THOMAS RAYMOND KELLY, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Sergeant THOMAS JOSEPH ALOYSIUS McFADDEN, Royal Air Force.
Flight Sergeant V. A. UNRUH, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Flying Officer ROBERT WALLACE BLAIR, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Warrant Officer II WILBUR St CLAIR HALEY, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Sergeant DOUGLAS ALEXANDER CARSON, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Sergeant WILLIAM LEEMAN GILLESPIE, Royal Canadian Air Force.
The Squadron War Dairy for 427 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, described the mission for the 18th July 1944:2
Of the 17 aircraft on this mission from 427 Squadron, 1 would not return. On the 18th June 1944, RAF Bomber Command carried out 1,052 sorties over Normandy. Total losses for RAF Bomber Command on this day were 8 aircraft (0.8 per cent),3 including the crew of Halifax, Mk III, LV985 ZL-K, flying with 427 Squadron. This day was the start of Operation GOODWOOD and one of the battles to try and capture the city of Caen.
|1.||Research Carl Shilleto, sources: Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War Vol:5 Aircraft and Crew Losses 1944, p.333, by W R Chorley, Midland Publishing. Published 1997.|
|2.||Research Carl Shilleto, sources: The War Dairy for 427 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, was transcribed by Dick Dunn, and is also available on the 427 Squadron Association's website. The Wartime Operational Logs, War Diary and Casualty List for 427 Squadron were compiled by Lieutenant-Colonel Eddie Haskins are also available on the 427 Squadron Association's website.|
|3.||Research Carl Shilleto, sources: from Middlebrook, Martin and Chris Everitt. The Bomber Command War Diaries; An Operational Reference Book 1939-1945. pp.544-5.|
|4.||Photograph kindly provided by Anne Crober, sister of Flying Officer ROBERT WALLACE BLAIR.|
Acknowledgements and Credits
|Source of original data:||Commonwealth War Graves Commission|
|Headstone photograph:||Carl Shilleto|
|Cross marker photograph:|
|Individual photograph:||Anne Crober, sister of Flying Officer ROBERT WALLACE BLAIR.|
|Additional photographs provided by:|
|Additional information provided by:||Carl Shilleto, 427 Squadron Association website and Anne Crober, sister of Flying Officer ROBERT WALLACE BLAIR.|
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