|Born||5 Nov 1922|
|Died||11 Oct 1989|
Contributor: Alan Chanter
ww2dbaseAustralian Roberts Christian "Bob" Dunstan joined the Australian Army straight from school aged 17. In 1941 he was fighting in the North African desert against the Italians when he was wounded in the leg by an enemy shell explosion. Evacuated to a field hospital, he was expected to recover but the wound became infected and the doctors had to amputate his leg.
ww2dbaseNot yet 19, he found himself back in Australia studying at a college. Spotting a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) recruiting poster which proclaimed "it's a man's job" he went to join up. At first he was turned down but his persistence paid off and he was accepted for training as an air gunner. It was at 27 Operational Training Unit at RAF Lichfield in Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom that Dunstan crewed up with fellow Australians and they were posted to No. 460 Squadron. He subsequently became a rear gunner as he found it easier to remove his artificial leg in order to gain access to that turret.
ww2dbaseOne of his most memorable missions that he flew during his tour of duty at RAF Binbrook was when he was chosen to fly in the crew of Binbrook's legendary Station Commander, Group Captain Hughie Edwards, a man who had been awarded the Victoria Cross leading a daring attack on Bremen, Germany in July 1941. Eventually Bod Dunstan received a commission with No. 460 Squadron and at the end of his tour he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. This brave airman survived the war, returning to Australia where he became a politician.
ww2dbaseSource: Lincolnshire Echo, April 15, 2015
Last Major Revision: Jul 2015
Roberts Dunstan Timeline
|5 Nov 1922||Roberts Dunstan was born in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.|
|3 Jun 1940||Roberts Dunstan enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force.|
|11 Jun 1943||Roberts Dunstan flew his first mission as a rear gunner aboard a Lancaster bomber out of RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom, attacking Düsseldorf, Germany.|
|22 Oct 1943||Over Kassel, Germany, the Lancaster bomber aboard which Roberts Dunstan was a crew member was damaged by two incendiary bombs dropped by a friendly Lancaster bomber flying higher above; although the bomber was further damaged by German nightfighters, it was able to return to Britain, crash landing at Bisham, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom.|
|2 Oct 1945||Roberts Dunstan was discharged from the Royal Australian Air Force.|
|11 Oct 1989||Roberts Dunstand passed away in Melbourne, Australia.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945