Below, front left, is Squadron Leader Robert Wareing DFC & Bar who is reported to have been the towns first serviceman to be decorated during World War Two.
He is seen here taking the salute during the presentation of Scunthorpe’s Spitfire – more of which can be read here – Scunthorpe’s Spitfire.
Mr Wareing was brought up in Cemetery Road, Scunthorpe, attending Doncaster Road Boys School and the Scunthorpe Technical High School in Cole Street. He joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve in 1938 and was called up the Friday before the outbreak of war in 1939.
A press report from 26th April 1941 was headed, ‘DFC for local Airman: Daring Bomb Attack on Brest Habour.
“For his part in a bombing raid on Brest Harbour, pilot officer Robert Wareing, 24-year-old son of Mr and Mrs R Wareing of Centralia, Cemetery Road, New Brumby, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
“The story told by members of his family is of a daring ‘dive’ through the inner defences of the harbour, in Wareing, whose crew was one of four to volunteer for the attack, dropped a heavy bomb on or near a ship in the dock.
“It will be remembered that the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, the important German battleships, were in the harbour, but does not appear certain which of them suffered damage from Wareing’s bomb.
“Wareings plane was caught up in a cluster of searchlights and met with heavy anti-aircraft fire from the inner defences, but he persisted in the attack, while the rear gunner machine gunned the searchlights.
Pilot Officer Wareing, who is engaged to Mis Joan Walker of West Common Gardens, was employed by Messrs Stephenson and Smart accountants when he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve a year before war broke out.”
The report also notes Mr Wareing had been a member of the Christian youth group The Keenites established by solicitor RAC Symes.
A subsequent report noted a Bar had been added to his DFC.
“In addition to his successful attacks, on cruisers in Brest, Flying Officer Wareing has carried out a number of sorties wherein he has displayed superb skill.
“Pilot Officer Wareing has always shown the greatest keeness and enthusiasm for operations.”
Squadron Leader Robert Wareing later became Commanding Officer of the Scunthorpe Air Training Corps from 1954 to 1958.