Robert Francis Thomas Doe was born in Reigate, Surrey, on 10th March 1920. He began work as an office boy at the News of the World newspaper. Doe also joined the RAFVR in March 1938. In January 1939 Doe was accepted for a short service commission in the RAF and having completed training was posted to 234 Squadron in November 1939. At the end of September 1940 he was posted to 238 Squadron and was one of the few pilots to successfully fly both Spitfires and Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain.
Shot down over Warmwell on the 10th October 1940 his involvement in the Battle was over. Doe was forced to bale out of his Hurricane P3984 with shoulder and leg wounds. He was awarded the DFC on the 23rd October and a Bar to this on 26th November.
Rejoining the squadron in December 1940 he continued flying, but on the 3rd of January 1941, engine failure forced a landing resulting in facial injuries and a broken arm. After extensive surgery he resumed operational flying in May 1941 as flight commander of 66 Squadron.
Further postings included joining 57 OTU as an instructor and a posting to the Far East. Forming 10 Squadron, Indian Air Force, he led fighter-bomber operations on the Burma front with Hurricanes.
In April 1945 he attended the Army Staff College in Quetta and was awarded an Indian DSO on the 2nd October 1945. Doe returned to the UK in September 1945 was posted to HQ, Reserve Command, as a training officer for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. Posted as Senior Personnel Staff Officer, Flying Training Command, Doe opted for premature retirement, leaving as a Wing Commander, which rank he had attained in January 1956.