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Robillard, Joseph Guillaume Laurent DFM (Sergeant)

Evader 1941-July-02

Birth Date: 1921 (age 20)

Home: Ottawa, Ontario

Decorations: DFM

Distinguished Flying Medal
145 Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Diu Noctuque Pugnamus We fight by day and night
RAF Stn Tangmere
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

02 Jul 1941. While flying a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIb (Serial No. P8536), coded SO-B, with No. 145 Squadron, RAF, Sergeant Joseph Guillaume Laurent Robillard, age 20, was shot down over Lillers, France.

Making contact with French civilians, he evaded capture and reached Gibraltar on 12 Aug 1941. He subsequently returned to operational duties. Flight Sergeant J.G.L. Robillard was the first RCAF airman to become a successful "evader".

Sergeant Robillard had taken off at 11:45 hrs from RAF Tangmere for a fighter sweep over France. During the afternoon the squadron was attacked by a swarm of Luftwaffe fighters. He saw one member of his squadron bale out, who he thought was Squadron Leader Stanley Turner, also a Canadian, and decided to escort him down. He was attacked by nine Messerschmitt Bf 109s, including one flown by German ace Adolf Galland, whose aircraft he managed to hit several times. Flight Sergeant Robillard shot down two of the Bf 109s before he himself was shot down. Following his successful evasion he returned to the UK in Oct 1941 and joined No. 70 Squadron, RAF.

He was promoted to Flight Sergeant and awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM). On 22 Apr 1942 he was commissioned as an officer. He returned to France to continue the fight, leading a section of No. 443 (Fighter) Squadron of Johnnie Johnson's No. 144 Wing and was credited with 8 kills. During his service he flew with No. 145 Squadron RAF, No. 72 Squadron RAF, No. 402 Squadron RCAF, and No. 443 Squadron RCAF. F/Lt Laurent Robillard died at his home in Montreal, Quebec on 8 Mar 2006. (DND Photo) information provided by Harold A. Skaarup

General Air Crew Remembered

General Ottawa Local Paper

Google MapOttawa, Ontario

Supermarine Spitfire

Source: Harold A Skaarup Web Page (DND Photo)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), in flight, 26 Feb 1944.

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts; around 70 remain airworthy, and many more are static exhibits in aviation museums throughout the world.

The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928. Mitchell pushed the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing with cutting-edge sunken rivets (designed by Beverley Shenstone) to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane.

The Spitfire had detachable wing tips which were secured by two mounting points at the end of each main wing assembly. When the Spitfire took on a role as a high-altitude fighter (Marks VI and VII and some early Mk VIIIs), the standard wing tips were replaced by extended, "pointed" tips which increased the wingspan from 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m) to 40 ft 2 in (12.24 m). The other wing-tip variation, used by several Spitfire variants, was the "clipped" wing; the standard wing tips were replaced by wooden fairings which reduced the span by 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m). The wing tips used spruce formers for most of the internal structure with a light alloy skin attached using brass screws.

Due to a shortage of Brownings, which had been selected as the new standard rifle calibre machine gun for the RAF in 1934, early Spitfires were fitted with only four guns, with the other four fitted later. Early tests showed that, while the guns worked perfectly on the ground and at low altitudes, they tended to freeze at high altitude, especially the outer wing guns, because the RAF's Brownings had been modified to fire from an open bolt. While this prevented overheating of the cordite used in British ammunition, it allowed cold air to flow through the barrel unhindered. Supermarine did not fix the problem until October 1938, when they added hot air ducts from the rear of the wing-mounted radiators to the guns, and bulkheads around the gunbays to trap the hot air in the wing. Red fabric patches were doped over the gun ports to protect the guns from cold, dirt, and moisture until they were fired.

The first Rolls-Royce Griffon-engined Mk XII flew in August 1942, and first flew operationally with 41 Squadron in April 1943. This mark could nudge 400 mph (640 km/h) in level flight and climb to an altitude of 33,000 ft (10,000 m) in under nine minutes. As American fighters took over the long-range escorting of USAAF daylight bombing raids, the Griffon-engined Spitfires progressively took up the tactical air superiority role, and played a major role in intercepting V-1 flying bombs, while the Merlin-engined variants (mainly the Mk IX and the Packard-engined Mk XVI) were adapted to the fighter-bomber role. Although the later Griffon-engined marks lost some of the favourable handling characteristics of their Merlin-powered predecessors, they could still outmanoeuvre their main German foes and other, later American and British-designed fighters.Wikipedia

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Supermarine Spitfire

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

YouTube YouTube How the Spitfire Became an Aviation Masterpiece

Kestrek Publications RCAF Supermarine Spitfire Serials - Kestrel Publications

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (8), RCAF 400 Squadron (2473), Canadian Aircraft Losses (2841), Canadian Museum(1)
last update: 2022-01-01 13:29:31

Spitfire Mk IIb P8536

37MU 19-04-1941 145S 19-06-1941 Missing escorting Blenheims to Lille presumed shot down by Bf109s 02-07-1941 FH35.45

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