Colin Oswald Gibbons,
Colin Oswald Gibbons was
born in Leicester during 1923. He was the son of Cecil Harold
Gibbons (25/03/1900-1989) and his wife Clara, nee Hill.
Colin's parents had two more children, daughters, Stella
and Hilary. Colin's sisters were also born in Leicester.On
the 6th February 1941 Colin's father received a commission
in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (R.N.V.R.). In 1944
he was serving at the port of Liverpool, H.M.S. Eaglet,
as Lieutenant C. H. Gibbons.
The Gibbons family home
had been at a house in Oakland Avenue, Thurmaston. However,
during the war, by 1944, the family had moved to Poynton
Colin Oswald Gibbons joined
the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (R.A.F.V.R.) in about
1942. In 1944 Flight Sergeant, 1490461, C. O. Gibbons, R.A.F.V.R.,
then serving with the Halifax Bombers of Bomber Command's
No. 77 Squadron, based at R.A.F. Elvington, Yorkshire, was
awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (D.F.M.).
On the 8th April 1944 the
Illustrated Leicester Chronicle (Page 11) reported
that Flight Sergeant Colin Gibbons, only son of Mr. and
Mrs. Cecil Gibbons, formerly of Oakland Avenue, Thurmaston,
and now of Poynton, Cheshire is reported missing.
Flight Sergeant Gibbons
had been a crew member of the Mark III Avro Lancaster ND708
(call Sign TL-L) of the No. 35 (Pathfinder) Squadron, which
had taken off from R.A.F. Graveley, Cambridgeshire, at 19.54
hours on the 15th March 1944 for a bombing mission over
Stuttgart, Germany. The aircraft was shot down by a German
night-fighter and crashed at Niederschopfheim, near Lahr,
in the Black Forest area of Germany.
Of the crew Sergeant Joseph
William Samuel Burden, navigator; Sergeant George Bagnall,
radio operator; and Sergeant Arthur Henry Weller, gunner;
were killed in action, all three are interred in the Durnbach
War Cemetery, Germany. Flying Officer Pilot Arthur Ganderton,
Sergeant J. S. Martin, the Flight Engineer, and Sergeant
H. R. Lowman, gunner, and Flight Sergeant Colin Oswald Gibbons,
bomb aimer, were all taken as prisoners of war.
Colin Oswald Gibbons (P.O.W.
No. 2978) was interned in Stalag Luft 6, Heydekrug, Lithuania;
and Stalag Luft 4, Sagan and Belaria, Poland; as was Sergeant
Martin. Sergeant Lowman (P.O.W. no. 3110) was interned in
Stalag Luft 6 and Stalag 357, Kopernikus, Poland. Flying
Officer Arthur Ganderton (P.O.W. No. 36041) was interned
in Stalag Luft 3, Sagan and Belaria, Poland.
Having returned to England,
on the 23rd October 1945 Warrant Officer Colin Oswald Gibbons
attended an investiture at Buckingham Palace, London, where
he received his D.F.M.
Colin Oswald Gibbons passed
away on the 31st October 2014. His funeral service took
place at Warrington Crematorium a few days later.
Malcolm Barrass. See Air
Steve Clements, for producing the 35 Squadron Badge.
The badge is © Crown Copyright and is reproduced with
of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office
The Crew of Mark
III Avro Lancaster ND708 (call Sign TL-L) of No. 35 (Pathfinder)
Squadron, RAF, when it was shot down over Germany on the
16th March 1944:
Pilot - Flying Officer Arthur Ganderton (51902) was taken
as a prisoner of war.
Sergeant, 656604, Arthur Ganderton, became a pilot officer
(Emergency Commission), on probation, on the 27th January
1943. Six months' later, on the 27th July 1943 he became
a Flying Officer on probation (War Substantive). On the
27th January 1945 he was promoted to a Flight Lieutenant
(War Substantive). After the war, on the 13th June 1947,
Arthur Ganderton became a Flying Officer in the reconstituted
R.A.F.V.R. Then on the 1st March 1951 his promotion to
Flight Lieutenant was confirmed with seniority from 1st
May 1949. He relinquished
his commission on the 13th June 1952.
Flight Engineer - Sergeant
J. S. Martin was taken as a prisoner of war.
Navigator - Sergeant,
753568, Joseph William Samuel Burden, R.A.F.V.R. was killed
in action. He was thirty years' of age. He was the son
of William Samuel and Alice Maud Burden of Burnt Oak,
Middlesex. He is interred in Durnbach War Cemetery (Grave
2.G.27), Bayern, Germany.
Wireless Operator - Sergeant,
1577534, George Bagnall, R.A.F.V.R. was killed in action.
He is interred in Durnbach War Cemetery (Grave 2.G.27),
Bomb Aimer - Flight Sergeant,
1490461, Colin Oswald Gibbons, R.A.F.V.R. was taken as
a prisoner of war. His parents were Cecil Harold Gibbons
and his wife Clara, nee Hill, of Leicester. He formerly
served with No. 77 Squadron.
Air Gunner - Sergeant,
1359082, Arthur Henry Weller, R.A.F.V.R. was killed in
action. He was forty one years' of age. He was the son
of Charles Pugsley Weller and Lillie Weller, of Brighton,
Sussex; and husband of Helen Weller, of Brighton. He is
interred in Durnbach War Cemetery (Grave 2.G.26), Bayern,
Air Gunner - Sergeant,
1394480, H. R. Lowman was taken as a prisoner of war.
If you have any information
or photographs that you would like adding to the Thurmaston
Military Indexes website send a message to the website
author by clicking on this link -