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Bobby Gibbes
Informal head-and-shoulders portrait of grinning man with dark beard and gap in teeth
Bobby Gibbes, North Africa, c. January 1942
Birth name Robert Henry Maxwell Gibbes
Born (1916-05-06)6 May 1916
Young, New South Wales
Died 11 April 2007(2007-04-11) (aged 90)
Sydney, New South Wales
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Air Force
Years of service 1940–1946
1952–1957
Rank Wing Commander
Unit No. 23 Squadron (1940)
No. 450 Squadron (1941)
No. 2 OTU (1944)
No. 80 Wing (1944–1945)
Commands held No. 3 Squadron (1942–1943)
Battles/wars World War II
  • Middle Eastern theatre
    • Syria–Lebanon Campaign
    • Western Desert Campaign
  • South West Pacific theatre
Awards Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar
Medal of the Order of Australia
Other work Businessman

Robert Henry Maxwell Gibbes, DSO, DFC & Bar, OAM (6 May 1916 – 11 April 2007) was an Australian fighter ace of World War II, and the longest-serving wartime commanding officer of No. 3 Squadron RAAF. He was officially credited with 10¼ aerial victories, although his score is often reported as 12, including two shared; Gibbes was also credited with five aircraft probably destroyed, and a further 16 damaged. He commanded No. 3 Squadron in North Africa from February 1942 to April 1943, apart from a brief period when he was wounded.

Born in rural New South Wales, Gibbes worked as a jackaroo and salesman before joining the Royal Australian Air Force in February 1940. Posted to the Middle East in April 1941, he flew with No. 3 Squadron in the Syria–Lebanon Campaign, and became commanding officer during the Western Desert Campaign, where his leadership and fighting skills earned him the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. Subsequently, posted to the South West Pacific, he served with No. 80 Wing of the Australian First Tactical Air Force, and took part in the "Morotai Mutiny" of April 1945. After the war, he spent many years in New Guinea developing local industry, for which he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2004. He continued to fly until the age of 85.

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