Robert Arthur Hiltz J37855

1924 (Approximate) - November 24, 1944

Robert Arthur Hiltz Robert Arthur Hiltz

439 Squadron

Robert Arthur Hiltz was the son of Cecil B. and Gladys Gwendolyn Hiltz of Kentville, Nova Scotia. He was a labourer, meter reader and helped out in an office prior to enlistment. He indicated he wanted to complete Grades 11 and 12 when he was discharged. He had one sister and one brother, Sgt. John 'Jack' Clifton Hiltz, an air gunner with 77 RAF Squadron, who was killed on September 30, 1941.

At #5 ITS, he was assessed as "youthful, quiet and modest, a good student, stable, reliable and well liked. Good appearance. Motivation Excellent."

At #10 EFTS, his flying: "Student is a very good type. His clear hood flying is average, especially on turns and straight and level. Unusual positions are a bit rough yet. Aerobatics also a bit rough." Navigation: "Map reading outstanding." Link: "Definitely above average through the course. Good control co-ordination A keen conscientious type of trainee."

at No. 61 OTU: "An average pilot who should improve with experience in a squadron. Smart and unassuming officer." His air to air firing was good to average. His air to ground assessment: below average.

S/L K. J. Fiset, DFC, wrote to Mr. Hiltz on November 23, 1944, explaining the circumstances of F/O Hiltz's crash in Typhoon MN124. "The Squadron was detailed to carry out a dive-bombing mission over enemy territory. During the dive, the anti-aircraft fire was extremely accurate and heavy. Bob's aircraft was badly hit and began to spin towards the ground. Bob baled out but his parachute must have been damaged as it did not open in the proper manner and streamed. I know that this is a cruel shock to you, but I want to be frank in admission of all details. We do not hold out any hope of his safety. Bobby had just arrived on the Squadron a short time ago and was an extremely keen and capable pilot. He was very popular with the rest of the pilots and losses such as his are difficult to replace. Next to his family and friends, we miss him most."

In the list of personal effects, Hiltz had a German helmet. His bracelet and identity disc was given to a British soldier named Brooks by a German woman who claimed she buried Hiltz in a field, on the right hand side of a road facing the railway station at Rhedebrugge, Germany, but after further investigation, this was not the case. His body was located in Borken Cemetery, unmarked, unattended and unsuitable for photographing. Instructions were left with the cemetery attendant to erect a cross and to tidy up the grave. The bracelet was returned to the family, and Hiltz's body was later re-interred in Reichswald Cemetery.

More information about Flying Officer Hiltz can be found in Typhoon and Tempest by Hugh Halliday.


  • Additional information about Hiltz on 439 Squadron Website