Hear Air Marshal G A Robertson tell the poignant tale of ‘Robbie’ Robertson’s two wartime love affairs – with flying and with the schoolgirl he eventually married, Connie.
Robbie began his RAF training during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. As he learnt his trade, he was soon rubbing shoulders with Fighter Command heroes, including Brian Kingcome, ‘Ginger’ Lacey and Bob Stanford Tuck.
Moving from 111 to 72 Squadron, he opened his account against the Luftwaffe in the spring of 1942. Six months later the action moved to North Africa, where he added further to his score. But it’s here that tragedy struck. He was shot down by Erich Rudorffer, one of the Luftwaffe’s most celebrated Experten, who ended the war with over 200 victories. Despite his wounds, and barely able to see, Robbie somehow survived his Spitfire’s crash-landing.
Found lying near the wreckage by an Army patrol, he was moved from casualty clearing stations to hospitals across Tunisia and Algeria as doctors tried to desperately save his sight. Finally, unable to stand the pain any longer, he reluctantly agreed to the removal of his right eye. A slow recovery and eventual return home was no compensation for the end of his flying career.
Desk-bound for the remainder of the war, the second, more poignant phase of his RAF life began. The young schoolgirl, Connie Freeman, with whom he was in regular correspondence since her evacuation, become his wife.
Robbie’s letters form the basis of the story, together with his own and Connie’s Diaries, correspondence with RAF colleagues, and his flying logbooks, all of which bring a unique authenticity to this highly charged tale.
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