Above and Beyond: Robert Cowper

Graham Pitchfork outlines the wartime career of Australian night-fighter ace Bob Cowper

Born in the outback, in the small mining town of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Bob Cowper was destined for a far more adventurous future. By the time he was 18, the war in Europe was in full flow and, on his 18th birthday in 1940, Cowper joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). After completing pilot training, he was posted to Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland, joining the mostly Australian-manned and Beaufighter-equipped 153 Squadron, which specialised in night-fighting. It was there he teamed up with Fg Off Bill Watson, with whom he would develop a partnership that endured for much of the war, to fly night-fighters.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below