LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Archibald Dethridge CAMPBELL

Service No: 400858
Born: Stawell VIC, 26 December 1908
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1940
Unit: No. 206 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 206 Squadron Hudson aircraft AM604), Ireland, 1 January 1942, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Killead (St Catherine) Church of Ireland Churchyard, County Antrim
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Archibald George and Amy Campbell; husband of Mary Watt Campbell, of Kilsyth, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Croydon VIC
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 1 January 1942 Hudson AM604 took off from RAF Station Aldergrove, Headquarters Coastal Command, took off on a non-operational aerodrome defence exercise. The aircraft struck some trees with its starboard wing, landed upside down and was set on fire by the impact. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of AM604 were:

Sergeant Archibald Dethridge Campbell (400858) (Observer)
Pilot Officer Hugh Gavin Fraser (402051) (Pilot)
Sergeant Philip Alexander Fry (920055) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Geoffrey Taylor Kettle (913612) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

At a later Court of Inquiry, the Station Commander RAF Aldergrove stated: “The Pilots in Squadron Leader Hennock’s Flight, were ordered to follow the Flight Leader in echelon starboard. He gave all the necessary orders required by any reasonable pilot. The aircraft hit trees as a result of an error of judgement by Fraser in flying too low or diving too close to the ground.” The Air Vice Marshal Commanding No 15 Group RAF stated: “had Fraser conformed normally to the manoeuvres of the Flight Commander as was done by the second aircraft in the formation, the accident would not have occurred.”

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/95/216