RUBIE – Robert Percival

1384445 – R.P. Rubie – Jamaica – attested 3.2.41 – Pilot – F/L – commissioned 30.11.43 – DFC

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876 – Nominal Roll of Coloured Candidates, October 1944]

Flight Lieutenant – DFC

[Source: CG]

Service no. after Commission  159564

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My father, Alec Unsworth, was trained as a Bomb Aimer during 1942 and the information that I offer about Rob Rubie comes via Alec’s service record. As a boy I knew that Alec had flown with Rob but I  only learned any details after Alec died in 1997. The detail comes mostly from Alec’s Flying Log book – which includes all his flights with Rob, which began in early 1943. After September 1943 they went their separate ways – in February 1944 Alec went into Heavy Conversion Unit and subsequently flew with a new crew in Halifax IIs and IIIs.  I have no more detail about Rob’s wartime career.
Alec kept in touch with Rob and I remember meeting Rob and his wife in 1962 or 1963 when they made a visit to the UK, looking up Rob’s old haunts and former comrades.  I was 13 or 14 at the time.

I enclose a photo of Rob’s crew taken in Newquay, Cornwall, in March 1943 when they were based at nearby RAF St Eval and flying Whitleys on anti submarine patrols.  They are, left to right, Alec Unsworth (Bomb Aimer) Charlie Wood (Rear Gunner), Rob Rubie (Pilot), Sgt Packer and Sgt Morison. Alec never mentioned Packer and Morison to me but they must have been Wireless Operator and Co-Pilot. [Click op pictures to enlarge!]

Dad + Rob Rubie 1

I have also attached 5 scans from Alec’s Log Book, covering the flights that Rob Rubie made with my father as part of his crew.

AHU Log Book 1AHU Log Book 2AHU Log Book 3AHU Log Book 4AHU Log Book 5
The final attachment was taken during Rob’s visit to the UK in the 1960s, left to right, Rob Rubie, Charlie Wood and Alec Unsworth.  I believe that a few years after this visit Rob contracted diabetes.  He died in, possibly, the 1980s.
Rob Charlie Alec reunion
[Chris Unsworth]

3 additions to “RUBIE – Robert Percival”

  1. A.E. Smith adds:

    Hello Jerome

    This link . . . . . . has an R.P Rubie listed as one of 431 RCAF’s DFC winners. I read here . . . . . . that he landed a Halifax safely with one engine on fire – meybe this was the reason for the DFC?

    Kind regards,
    A.E. Smith

  2. C J Unsworth adds:

    My late father was a member of Flight Sergeant Rob/Robbie Rubie’s crew in 1943 while both were attached to 431 Squadron which was a Canadian unit within the RAF. I have a photo and some log book details if anyone is interested. Perhaps you could let me know?

  3. PJ Morison adds:

    Hi CJ,

    My father was in FS Rubie’s crew. Pretty sure I met him when I was a young boy. I would be interested in the logs if you still have them.


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