Robert Alexander AWMM
Also known as
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Robert Banks-Martin was the son of Robert and Rosina Banks-Martin of Martinborough, New Zealand.
He was a member of No.4 Solo Flight Training School at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1941
Sergeant Banks-Martin was the pilot of a Halifax II (DT483 MH-F) which took off from Snaith at 1634 on operations in the Nectarines area (code named Op. Gardening). The plane was lost without trace. It was the first 51 Squadron crew to be reported missing since returning from duties with Coastal Command. The other crew members were Sgt J.E.L. Griffiths (RAF), Flight Sgt P.A.J. Rudkin (RAF), Sgt E.W.D. Roberts (RCAF), Sgt R.J.A. Gowan (RCAF), Sgt H.A. Smith (RAF), and Sgt C.J. Osborne (RAF). All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in England. (Ref. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War by W.R. Chorley, p. 16).
The following is taken from the series on the Royal Air Force Bomber Command Squadrons researched, compiled and written by Chris Ward (England). The section dealing with 51 Squadron's 1943 history begins: '51 Squadron returned to the battle on the night of the 8/9th of January, when eight crews took part in a sizeable mining effort off the Danish coast. On the following night, 120 aircraft took off for similar duties off the Frisians and North Germany, and the squadron registered the first of what would become a harrowingly long list of losses during the year. DT483 failed to return to Snaith, and no trace of it or the crew of Sgt Banks- Martin was ever found.'
On 24 February 1943 the New Zealand Herald reported that Sergeant Banks-Martin was missing on operations. It was on 1 September that the paper recorded that he was presumed to have died. AWMM
- Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom AWMM
- Pollington Airfield Memorial Garden, Yorkshire, England AWMM
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Robert Alexander Banks-Martin
- Chorley, W. (1996). Royal Air Force Bomber Command losses of the Second World War: Aircraft and crew losses 1943 (Vol. 4). Leicester, England: Midland Counties Publications. AWMM
- Royal Air Force. Bomber Command. Squadron profiles ; no. 16: 51 Squadron AWMM
- Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
- This record is a work in progress and was partially compiled from the “Database of New Zealand Airmen who took part in Advanced Air Training in Canada during WW2”. Researched by Ivan and Lorna Lindsey of Tauranga. N.Z. 2003 – 2012. Reproduced with permission. AWMM
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