The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. R S J Edwards
Robert Sidney James Edwards was born on 12th February 1916 and attended Brentwood School. He entered the RAF College Cranwell in January 1935 as a Flight Cadet and graduated in December 1936 with a permanent commission.
He joined 79 Squadron on 22nd March 1937. He was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant on 7th March 1939 and appointed 'A' Flight Commander. Edwards relinquished this post and his acting rank on 28th June 1939.
He was re-appointed 'A' Flight Commander on 12th September 1939 and was again promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant on 8th December.
On 4th February 1940 Edwards went on attachment to RAF Northolt for an Air Fighting course.
He was serving with 79 Squadron when it was sent to Merville in France on 10th May. He was shot down on the 11th by return fire from He111's NW of Mons. He baled out of Hurricane L2068 with burns to one arm. The squadron returned to Biggin Hill from France on 20th May.
While his arm healed Edwards was posted from 79 Squadron to join the Admin Staff at HQ 11 Group on 18th May and reported there for duty on the 23rd. He returned to operations on 10th September 1940, then joining 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down as 'B' Flight Commander.
He was shot down on 30th September in combat with Do17's and Me110's over Portland in Hurricane P3088. He baled out, injured.
In 1941 Edwards moved to Bomber Command and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 21st November 1941) serving with 9 Squadron at Honington.
Edwards retired from the RAF on 12th February 1963 as a Wing Commander.
He died on 2nd May 1974.