Robert "Bob" Bruce Cole was born in Quetta, India, on 11 November 1919. Robert Cole enlisted in the RAF in March 1941, received his wings in Rhodesia and was posted to No. 250 Squadron in Palestine, flying the Tomahawk.

On 5 December 1941 he was shot down by Flak over Bir-el-Gubi. After having spent some time in hospital and after some additional training he retured to his squadron which had been transferred to Lybia in the meantime. He saw further action on Malta, from there over Sicily in July 1943 and over Italy from September to December 1943.

Returning to the UK he was posted to No. 274 Squadron in October 1944 as a flight commander, but in February 1945 he was promoted to command No. 3 Squadron. He was awarded a Bar to his DFC in May 1945. 

He remained in the RAF after the war, and was killed in a English Electric Canberra PR.7 on 16 January 1956 together with his staff officer Peter Needham.







Cole's previous victories

Date of Claim Type Claimed Aircraft lown Location of Claim Unit Note
21 Nov 1941 Bf109 Tomahawk IIb Gambut area 250 Sqn Damaged
23 Nov 1941 3 x Bf109s Tomahawk IIb Tobruk 250 Sqn Damaged


Cole's victories in Tempest

Date of Claim Type Claimed Aircraft Serial No Location of Claim Unit Note
5 Dec 1944 1/2 x Me262 EJ781 10m N Rheine 274 Sqn Damaged
23 Jan 1945 Fw190 NV722 Gutersloh area 274 Sqn Damaged
14 Feb 1945 E/a on ground     3 Sqn  
2 Mar 1945 Fw190 NV775 nr Dulmen 3 Sqn  
30 April 1945 Bf109 NV749 SW Lauenburg 3 Sqn Probable


Aces High Vol. 2 by Christopher Shores
The Typhoon and Tempest Story by Christopher Shores and Chris Thomas
Aviation Safety Network
Traces of War