Personnel Index - Detail
Awarded the CGM.
Sgt Hogg flew 35 operations as a Wireless Operator and 1 operation as rear gunner between 2nd May 1942 and the 26th March 1943.
Further details from "Beware of the Dog at War" by John Ward:
Robert joined the R.A.F. as a boy entrant in September 1938, his chosen trade being wireless operator/potential air gunner. After finishing training at Cranwell, he joined 12 Sqn at Bicester at the time equipped with Fairey Battles. The squadron moved to France with A.A.S.F. but being still under 18 years old, Robert was not eligible for active service so remained at Bicester.
However on 18 April 1940 he reached the age, and next day he was on his way to France. He joined the three man crew piloted by Sgt Ebert…. both the pilot and navigator were very experienced aircrew and being A/1 Robert felt somewhat over-awed by his colleagues. In May 1940 the enemy made their long anticipated offensive and all the training was to be put into action. Robert takes up his story;
“We started flying in the early hours of the morning… sometimes it was bombs, other times it was strafing depending on the target… and there were plenty to choose from! On occasions we took off from one grassy field which had been our base for a few days, only to find it had been over run. This became the norm until one day we landed at what was our base in the morning to find it deserted, just a few u/s Battles left behind.
On one of these wrecks was attached a note which read ‘Get the hell out of here, everyone evacuated from Dunkirk, try to make England… Good Luck!’ We climbed aboard our aircraft , no ammunition belt and quite low on fuel. Sgt Ebert said to us before taking off, ‘ If anybody attacks us, I will just ram them!’. However our guardian angel must have been looking after us for we managed to make it to an airfield near Brighton, refuelled, and headed for RAF Binbrook. Here we were re-kitted and our aircraft was handed over ‘no longer fit for operations - too many losses’ but worst of all my pilot and navigator were posted to Canada as instructors.
I was posted to RAF Hemswell to join 144 Sqn flying Hampdens. My pilot was Sgt Smith who had the nickname of ‘Tiger’ and he lived up to it… he loved ops. I flew 32 ops with his crew and I often wonder what happened to them. I was then posted to RAF Cottesmore as an instructor and later crewed up with P/O Eyre. We were posted to 49 Sqn at RAF Scampton, starting my next tour on 2/3 May 1942 in Manchester L7469 piloted by P/O Farrington. Soon the mighty Lancaster arrived and with F/O Eyre and crew, I completed my tour at Fiskerton with a trip to Duisburg on 26/27 March 1943. (Robert had taken-off for ops on 35 occasions with 49 Sqn).
It was whilst at Fiskerton that I was awarded the C.G.M . W/C Slee wrote on the citation ‘Well deserved’ … I think that sums it up… no heroics. I was posted to RAF Kinloss tour expired again as an instructor, but I managed to ‘escape’ by getting a transfer to Transport Command. I joined 62 Sqn flying Dakotas which in my opinion was a dream machine. It was a sorry day when we had to hand them back to the Yanks. I became a member of F/O Stan Young’s crew and completed 64 trips before the war ended.
We, as a crew opted to stay with the squadron until March 1948 and completed 285 trips before returning to the UK…. our crew was awarded a Green Endorsement in recognition”.
The above account is taken from a letter received by John Ward from Robert Hogg in spring 2009. On reading its contents he was absolutely amazed at the extent of Robert’s RAF career. He feels very privileged and indeed humbled to have been in correspondence with such a pleasant, unassuming gentleman who despite what he may say, is a true hero. In giving him his middle name, Robert’s parents must have seen into the future.
Robert Service Hogg C.G.M. optimises the true spirit of all those who served in Bomber Command.
Such men saved the whole world from tyranny and we will always remember them.
"Posted out" 2012.