The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. R S J Edwards
Robert Sidney James Edwards was born on 12th February 1916 in Dublin 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.
His first posting was to 74 Squadron at Horchurch in January 1937.
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 converted to the Wellington at 20 OTU Lossiemouth from March to May 1941.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 21st November 1941) serving with 9 Squadron at Honington from May to September 1941.
His logbooks are held by the Imperial War Museum and it has been possible to document the rest of his career:
1505 Beam Approach Training Flight RAF Honington (September 1941 – February 1942)
31 Air Navigation School, Port Albert, Ontario (March – July 1942)
RAF Ferry Command Canada (July 1942 – January 1943)
Empire Central Flying School RAF Hullavington (January – October 1943)
Central Navigation School RAF Cranage and RAF Shawbury (October 1943 – June 1944)
Telecommunications Research Establishment Malvern (July – November 1944)
Telecommunications Flying Unit Defford (November 1944 – April 1945)
Ministry of Aircraft Production, Thames House (March – August 1945)
Radar Controlled Air Survey Unit Defford (August – October 1945)
RAF Gransden Lodge (October – December 1945)
RAF Watton (December 1945 – January 1946)
541 (Transport) Squadron RAF Benson (January – March 1946)
RAF Takoradi, Ghana (March – May 1946)
RAF Benson (May – July 1946)
RAF Accra, Gold Coast (July 1946 – March 1947)
Empire Air Navigation School RAF Shawbury (March 1947 – July 1948)
1 Personnel Holding Unit RAF Innsworth (July – November 1948)
Central Bomber Establishment RAF Marham (November 1948 – April 1949)
RAF Lindholme (April – August 1949)
Air Ministry DNC (August 1949 – November 1952)
HQ Transport Command (November 1952 – July 1954)
HQ Middle East Air Force Abu Sueir, Egypt (August – November 1954)
RAF Nicosia, Cyprus (November 1954 – May 1957)
Air Ministry (O.R. 28) (August 1957 – August 1960)
HQ RAF Germany, Rheindahlen (August 1960 – February 1963).
Edwards retired from the RAF on 12th February 1963 as a Wing Commander.
He died on 2nd May 1974.