TOD, Robert Ernest Sergeant, No.75 Squadron, R91742 Distinguished Flying Medal RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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TOD, Sergeant Robert Ernest (R91742) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.75 Squadron - Award effective 23 April 1943 as per London Gazette dated 7 May 1943 and AFRO 1035/43 dated 4 June 1943. Born in St.Vital (Winnipeg), Manitoba, 19 February 1920; home there (miner for two years); enlisted in Winnipeg, 30 January 1941. To No.2 Manning Depot, 30 January 1941; to No.1 Manning Depot, 28 February 1941; to No.4 Manning Depot, 21 April 1941; to No.3 Training Command, 4 May 1941; to No.1 WS, Montreal, 23 June 1941; promoted LAC, 25 July 1941; to No.4 BGS, 7 December 1941; graduated 6 January 1942 at which time he was promoted to Sergeant. To “Y” Depot, Halifax, 7 January 1942; embarked or overseas, 23 January 1942; taken on strength of No.3 Personnel Reception Centre, 10 February 1942; to No.1 Signal School, 17 March 1942; promoted Flight Sergeant, 6 April 1942; to No.4 AOS, 23 May 1942; to No.10 (O) AFU, 30 May 1942; to No.14 OTU, 7 July 1942; to No.115 Squadron, 26 October 1942; to No.75 (NZ) Squadron, 6 November 1942; promoted WO2, 6 January 1943; to No.1657 Conversion Unit, 6 June 1943; to No.75 (NZ) Squadron, 17 June 1943. Killed in action 23 June 1943 (Stirling EH889, No.75 Squadron; buried in Holland; his twin brother, Richard Douglas Tod, was also killed; the two had enlisted together and, had identical postings and dates, differing only that Richard Douglas Tod was hospitalized, 14 December 1942 to 12 February 1943 for facial fractures and reconstruction following a fall in the London subway. Award presented by Governor General to next of kin, 12 December 1944. RCAF photo PL-34550 taken after ceremony, showing Miss Jean Tod (sister), Mrs. A. Tod (mother, Oliver, B.C,) and Mrs. J. MacInnes (sister). This airman was the wireless operator of an aircraft which was damaged by anti-aircraft fire during an operational flight over enemy territory. The aircraft gradually lost height and the pilot was eventually compelled to bring it down to the sea. Meanwhile, Sergeant Tod worked coolly at his apparatus, maintaining wireless contact with base. His excellent work enabled the aircraft to be continuously plotted from the ground and plans for rescue to be made. The entire crew of the aircraft were picked up within fifteen minutes of coming down on the sea. This airman displayed great coolness and unswerving devotion to duty throughout. The website “Lost Bombers” provides the following information on his DFM flight and fatal flight: 10/1l April 1943 - Stirling BF455 (AA-Y), target Frankfurt. BF455 was one of two No.75 Squadron Stirling lost on this operation; the other was BF456. Airborne 2355 hour, 10 April 1943 from Newmarket. Damaged by flak over the target and later engaged in a running battle with night-fighters. Low on fuel, the bomber was ditched in the Channel, some three miles off Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex. All were picked up by an ASR Walrus amphibian. Most unusally, the crew included twin brothers, Robert Ernest and Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF. Others in crew were Flight Sergeant C.Rothschild, Sergeant E. Grainger, Sergeant G.Samson (RNZAF), Sergeant J.L. Richards (RNZAF), Sergeant H.E.Moss, and Sergeant W.A.Hardy. Sergeant R.E.Tod's actions as the Wireless Operator was directly responsible for the rescue of this crew and resulted in the award of an Immediate DFM. 22/23 June 1943 - Stirling EH889 (AA-Z), target Mulheim. This was one of four No.75 Squadron Stirlings lost on this operation (the others were EF399, BK810, and EF408. Airborne 2348 hours, 22 June 1943 from Newmarket. Shot down by a night-fighter (Oblt Lothar Linke, 1V./NJG1) and crashed 0026 into the IJsselmeer. F/L T.F. McCrorie is buried Hemelumer-Oldeferd (Molkwerum) Protestant Churchyard; P/O W. Stuckey in Wonseradeel (Makkum) Protestant Churchyard and the Tod twins in Medemblik General Cemetery. Sergeant R.A. Kennedy is buried at Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery. The others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial - Sergeant E.Grainger, Sergeant J.L.Richards (RNZAF) and Sergeant R.A.Kennedy. See: BF455 in Air Battle of the Ruhr, by A.Cooper.