Cyril C Rollins DFC RAFVR – 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron
I was very sorry to be told Cyril Rollins passed away in Feb at the age of 96 so decided to do a little page as a small tribute. I do not think I ever met him although I certainly met his mid upper gunner, Len Sumak, who was a good friend of Joe Duns who was killed with my uncle. Cyril did write to me a couple of times I recall.
Above- The Rollins crew - L to R. Len Sumak, Jock Boston, Bob Hammond, Ted Roff, Cyril Rollins, Louis Reece and Jack Rutter.
Cyril and his crew were posted to 103 Squadron at Elsham Wolds in the autumn of 43. He flew his fist op as second pilot with W/O E T Townend to Hagen on the 1/2 Oct 43.
He flew his first op with his own crew on the 4/5 Oct 43 to Ludswighafen which was a diversion. That was an early return. He then completed 6 more ops with 103 Sqn.
The last of these on the 22/23 Nov 43 to Berlin they recorded a combat with a single engined night fighter. On return they landed at “Scorton Marby” No idea where that is
Above - Cyril Rollins’ crew early in their tour whilst with 103 Sqn. L to R - Reece, Sumak, Hammond, Rollins, Rutter, Roff and Boston.
This crew were then transferred with 103 Sqn C Flight to the new 576 Sqn which was formed late Nov 1943.
From Dec 43 through the remainder of the winter they continued to fly ops till they finished with a trip to Dusseldorf 22/23 April 1944.
Cyril Rollins was awarded a DFC and Len Sumak ( pictured below ) a DFM.
Listed below is his full tour which is a brute – right through the Battle of Berlin and includes some very hard and costly ops.
01-10-43 - Hagen - Lancaster - ED417 - W/O E T Townsend. ( Sgt CC Rollins was 2nd pilot )
04-Oct-43 - Ludwigshafen/Diversion - Lancaster - ED881 - Sgt CC Rollins - ER Mid upper turret U/S
07-Oct-43 - Stuttgart - Lancaster - ED417 - Sgt CC Rollins
18-Oct-43 - Hannover - Lancaster - ED881 - W/O CC Rollins
03-Nov-43 - Dusseldorf - Lancaster - ED417 - F/S CC Rollins
10-Nov-43 - Modane - Lancaster - JA957 - F/S CC Rollins
18-Nov-43 - Berlin - Lancaster - JB319 - W/O CC Rollins
22-Nov-43 - Berlin - Lancaster - ED913 - W/O CC Rollins - Combat with single engined night fighter. No damage.
16/12/1943 - Berlin - ND402 - W/O CC Rollins
20/12/1943 - Frankfurt - ED913 - W/O CC Rollins - Engine U/S. Bombed an airfield.
23/12/1943 - Berlin - JA868 - W/O CC Rollins
29/12/1943 - Berlin - JA868 - W/O CC Rollins
01/01/1944 - Berlin - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
14/01/1944 - Brunswick - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
20/01/1944 - Berlin - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
21/01/1944 - Magdeburg - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
27/01/1944 - Berlin - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
28/01/1944 - Berlin - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
30/01/1944 - Berlin - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
15/02/1944 - Berlin - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
19/02/1944 - Leipzig - ND385 - W/O CC Rollins
24/02/1944 - Schweinfurt - JA868 - W/O CC Rollins
25/02/1944 - Augsburg - LL748 - W/O CC Rollins
18/03/1944 - Frankfurt - ND385 - P/O CC Rollins
30/03/1944 - Nuremberg - ME703 - P/O CC Rollins
10/04/1944 - Aulnoye - LL800 - P/O CC Rollins
11/04/1944 - Aachen - LL800 - P/O CC Rollins
18/04/1944 - Rouen - LL800 - P/O CC Rollins
20/04/1944 - Cologne - LL800 - P/O CC Rollins
22/04/1944 - Dusseldorf - LL796 - P/O CC Rollins
Written by David Fell - Photos courtesy of the late Len Sumak