Gosnell, Robert Jerram

Date of birth:
1911 (Bangkok, Thaiiam)
Date of death:
Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


Robert Gosnell served initially with No.5 Squadron in Quetta, India for three years. During the Second World War he was posted at No.38 Squadron (Wellingtons) and flew bomber raids on targets such as Berlin, Kiel, Hannover and Brussels. At the end of 1940 the squadron moved to Egypt.
In 1944 he was posted to No.385 Squadron (Mosquitos), a newly-formed light bomber unit of No.8 (Path Finder) Groupís Light Night Striking Force, and took part in a further five operational sorties with them, his last being a raid on the Kiel Canal, 5.10.1944, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
In the 1950's he was given command of successively RAF North Weald, RAF Wildenrath and in 1956 of RAF Wattisham. He retired in 1966.

Besides the awards mentioned below he was also decorated with the India General Service 1908-35, G.V.R., one clasp, North West Frontier 1935 and Coronation 1953 Medal.

23 July,1932: Pilot Officer
23 January, 1934: Flying Officer
1 October, 1936: Flight Lieutenant
? Squadron Leader
1 June, 1941: Temporary Wing Commander
15 September, 1945: Wing Commander (war sub)
1 October, 1946: Wing Commander
1 January, 1951: Group Captain
1 April, 1966: pensioen/ontslag

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Squadron Leader
No. 38 Squadron, Royal Air Force (No. 38 Squadron, Royal Air Force)
Awarded on:
April 8th, 1941
"Squadron Leader Gosnell has commanded a flight in this Squadron since 14.8.1940 and has completed some 23 operational sorties. This officer has always shown determination, zeal, and keenness in operating against the enemy. Squadron Leader Gosnell has proved an excellent leader and has set a magnificent example to the younger pilots in his flight. On a recent operation on Rhodes Island Squadron Leader Gosnell attacked 4 separate targets, namely the aerodromes of Lindos, Maritza, Kattavia, and Rhodes Harbour. This attack, which was carried out with great determination, resulted in the destruction of 2 aircraft at Lindos and an ammunition dump at Kattavia."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Wing Commander
No. 571 Squadron, Royal Air Force (No. 571 Squadron, Royal Air Force)
Awarded on:
November 17th, 1944
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
"On the night of the 5th-6th October 1944 Wing Commander Gosnell was the pilot of a Mosquito aircraft detailed to lay mines from a low altitude in the Kiel Canal. The waterway is heavily defended by heavy and light anti-aircraft guns, searchlights, and balloons, demanding a high degree of skill and determination from those detailed for the task. Undeterred by these hazards, Wing Commander Gosnell brought his aircraft down to 300 feet at the correct speed and released the mine in the allotted area while under the close range fire of three anti-aircraft guns on the banks of the canal.
As Squadron Commander, this officer was responsible for planning the operation in 571 Squadron and the success achieved is a reflection on his courage, skill, and sense of duty. Wing Commander Gosnell has completed 34 operational sorties of which 5 have been on Mosquitos. I strongly recommend the Immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order."
Second World War (1939-1945)
Air Crew Europe Star


  • - The London Gazette Issue 33858 published on the 26 August 1932
    - The London Gazette Issue 34030 published on the 6 March 1934
    - The London Gazette Issue 34331 published on the 13 October 1936
    - The London Gazette Issue 35131 published on the 8 April 1941
    - The London Gazette Issue 35187 published on the 10 June 1941
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36799 published on the 14 November 1944
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37312 published on the 16 October 1945
    - Second Supplemeny to The London Gazette Issue 37312 published on the 16 October 1945
    - Eighth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 39111 published on the 2 January 1951
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 43948 published on the 8 April 1966
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