About Robert Lawrence Spurdle
S/L Robert Lawrence Spurdle was born in Wanganui, New Zealand on 3 March 1918, attended Wanganui Collegiate School before being accepted early in 1939 for the last short service commission course. When his training was completed, Spurdle sailed for Britain in early June 1940 to join a Spitfire Operational Training Unit before joining No 74 Squadron on the 21st of August 1940. Spurdle shared in the damaging of an He III on the 14th of September. Spurdle destroyed five enemy fighters, probably three more and damaged a further four plus several probably destroyed bombers before he was posted in mid-April 1941 to join No 91 Squadron. He probably destroyed another Bf 109 on 7 May and damaged another on the 23rd. As far as is known Bob Spurdle, John Gibson and Michael Herrick were the only three New Zealand pilots to destroy enemy aircraft in both the Battle of Britain and the Pacific.