Rank & Name: F/L GT "Ropey" Palmer DFC
Date of Death: 06/05/1941


Little is known of F/L Palmer at this time. This picture is taken circa 1940 and sourced from the ww2images site (which names him as crewed with Adamson and Buckley). He has not yet been awarded his DFC in this picture. In his memoirs, P/O Alec McCurdy refers to him as 'Ropey'. At the time, Ropey was O/C A'Flight and second in command was F/O Fry.

Alec admired both for their prowess in the skies and the willingness to bomb targets at low level (even 200ft and below). He notes that both Ropoey and Fry were awarded their DFC's whilst he was there. He notes that Ropey was somewhat notorious on the squadron for his drinking escapades. One of which a Baby Austin car had been placed on top of a stack of furniture in the Officers Mess. Alec notes that when he commented on the damage to the furniture, it had not gone down to well... I guess all personnel dealt with the pressures of war in their own way, and having a few drinks and letting of steam was certainly not uncommon throughout the RAF...

He further notes that on one occassion, Ropey had been before the local magistrates for more than one motoring offence. He was defended by one of the squadron administrative officers, Fernely Whittinghall. Fry had also attended to support his friend (as before the war he had been an experienced barrister). He was let off with no chrages laid after it had been explained that he was "under duress - night flying into enemy territory - loss of friends" etc.

On 25/03/1941, his WAG (Sgt Buckley) was killed when their Blenheim was attacked by two ME109's. view details Sgt Buckley was replaced by Sgt CEA Dunlop DFM as AG.

A little over a month later, Palmer and his new crew were lost. view details

The Sqaudron ORB - dated 16/02/1941 notes Ropey Palmer as the "signals and photographic officer".


(above) "A" Flight pilots: Mick Sands DFC - Buchan - Wenman - "Ropey" Palmer, Don Custerson (McCurdy)

(above) The 'A' Flight crest - "A FLIGHT - 59 SQDN - OFFICER I/C - F/LT PALMER - NCO I/C ?"


Update June 2014: The following image was sent in by author Mark Hillier, who recently purchased the medals and photo albums of Sgt Charlie West, who was a navigator for Palmer and crew in 1941.

(L-R) Ropey Palmer - skipper, Charlie West - observer - Unidentified at this stage but possibly Sgt Buckley - AG.



Further Information
Awardee of the Battle of Britain Clasp - Although entitlement was revoked by the Air Ministry in 1960 (read more).

If you have any information about Ropey Palmer, please contact me, thank you.


Rest In Peace