AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
World War II Honor Roll

Eric G. Roberts

First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces

O-886059

 

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: October 7, 1943
Buried at: 
Awards: Purple Heart


CAMDEN COURIER-POST MONDAY NOVEMBER 16, 1942

 

BRITISH GIVE WINGS TO YOUTH
REJECTED BY U.S. AS AIR CADET


Merchantville Pilot Called 
‘One Of Best’; 
Brother Flies For Uncle Sam

Flunked as a flier for his adopted Uncle Sam, Eric G. Roberts returned to his Merchantville home Saturday as a sergeant pilot in the RAF. He reports for active duty in Canada on November 23.
   Not only is Eric, now 22, proud possessor pf probably one of the last three wing emblems the RAF will give to Americans, but he is the brother of Second Lieutenant Norman Roberts, of the U.S. Army Air Force, now stationed in Canada.
   It was last November that Eric, a graduate of Merchantville High School, came home from Ryder College, Trenton, and told his parents, Frederick and Annie Roberts, that he was going to join the U.S. Army air service. Four months later he flunked, went to New York, joined up with the RAF, was sent to Falcon Field AZ, and on November 3 received his wings “with honors”.
   “You’re one of the finest we’ve ever turned out,” said British Wing Commander J.F. McKenna, when he pinned the wings on the fledgling.
   His brother won his wings in August and recently wrote his parents he expected to leave for the front at any time.
   Both pilots were born in Liverpool. The father came to this country in 1923. The mother brought the boys over a year later. All are now American citizens.
   “We are proud of our boys,” said Mrs. Roberts last night. “we wish both were flying for their adopted country, but at least they both will be flying for the same cause.”
   The Roberts live at 216 Barlow Ave, Merchantville
   Since December 7, enlistment in the RAF by Americans has been discouraged. It was only the flunking in the U.S. service that opened the doors to the RAF.
   The two other Americans who won their wings on the same day are Edward B. Giorchino, of South Norwalk CT, and Loren J. Koon, of Spartanburg S.C.


Camden
Courier-Post

November 20, 1942

Click on Image to Enlarge


FIRST LIEUTENANT ERIC G. ROBERTS was still flying with the RAF on September 23, 1943 when the British air fleet bombed Hanover, Germany. In that raid, the first in a week due to foul weather, the United Press (fore-runner of UPI) reported "hundreds of RAF bombers dropped an estimated 200 tons of blockbusters and incendiaries on Hanover in a furious 30-minute raid. In the Hanover raid 26 RAF bombers and one fighter were lost".

Eric Roberts had transferred to the United States Army Air Force shortly after the Hanover raid. He was reported missing on October 7, 1943. His body was later recovered. His death was reported in the October 18, 1943 edition of the Camden Courier-Post.


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