Sqn Ldr Palmer was lost on his 111th operational mission. His citation noted that he was “an outstanding pilot” who “displayed conspicuous bravery” and “his record of prolonged and heroic endeavour is beyond praise.” This is his story.
The son of ex-Royal Flying Corps pilot Arthur Palmer, Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer was born in Gillingham, Kent on July 7, 1920. With aviation running through his blood from a young age it would be inevitable that he soon became an aeromodeller with aspirations to become a pilot.
However, on his father’s advice, he joined the Surveyors’ department at Gravesend Borough Council upon leaving school. The outbreak of war in 1939 gave him the ‘excuse’ to follow his dream and on August 22 of that year he enlisted in the RAF Volunteer Reserves (RAFVR).