Sgt Robert Wilson Baxter GM

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by Kyt, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Whilst looking for something on the LG I came across this:

    Awarded the George Medal.
    Gazette Issue 35646 published on the 24 July 1942

    Aus. 400689 Sergeant Robert Wilson Baxter, Royal Australian Air Force.
    Sergeant Baxter was the captain of a bomber which had made a successful- raid on Germany. When nearing base the port engine, which had been hit by fire from the enemy's ground defences, caught alight. Sergeant Baxter proceeded to land the aircraft but, in the semi-darkness, he was unable to observe that the runways on the aerodrome were obstructed. The aircraft caught fire on impact with the obstruction. Five of the crew, including Sergeant Baxter, got out through the pilot's escape hatch but the wireless operator, who tried to escape through a lower hatch, became trapped. The aircraft was now burning furiously; ammunition and pyrotechnics were exploding and the petrol tanks were liable to explode at any moment. Sergeant Baxter, showing complete disregard for his own safety, re-entered the aircraft and remained inside for at least 5 minutes before he succeeded in releasing the wireless operator and pushing him through the pilot's escape hatch. He only managed to get clear himself just before the petrol tanks exploded. During ' his efforts to release his companion Sergeant Baxter sustained extensive second degree burns to his hands and face for which treatment in hospital was necessary. The unselfish heroism displayed by this airman undoubtedly saved the life of his comrade.

    The incident involved Wellington X3673 of 150 Squadron. Mission to Stuttgart 5/6 May 1942

    T/O 2235 from Snaith. Hit and badly damaged by flak over the target and on return the pilot made an emergency landing at Blyton. On touchdown at 0530 the Wellington ran into an unmarked obstruction and immediately burst into flames. After scrambling clear of the burning wreckage, Sgt Baxter realised that the Wireless Operator was missing. Without any hesitation he reentered the bomber, finding his comrade trapped in the escape hatch. Fortunately, he was able to free the airman and drag him to safety. In recognition of this courageous act, Sgt Baxter was awarded the George Medal.

    Sgt R W Baxter RAAF
    Sgt E G Bounds
    F/S A R Tipple
    Sgt D S Bright
    Sgt Gettings

    Sadly Baxter was killed in Wellington X3698 on 6/7 August 1942 on a mission to Duisburg:

    T/O 0040 from Snaith and crashed almost immediately, coming down 1 mile W of the airfield and bursting into flames.

    F/Sgt R W Baxter GM RAAF KIA
    F/Sgt J H Hodsell RNZAF (died later of injuries)
    F/Sgt A R Tipple KIA
    Sgt H Weller KIA
    Sgt B H Cosby KIA
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

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