CAMPBELL Colin Blair 406431

LEST WE FORGET 

Warrant Officer Colin Blair CAMPBELL 

Service No: 406431
Born: Fremantle WA, 9 October 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 December 1940
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Leuchars, Fifeshire Scotland
Died: Air Operations: (No. 455 Squadron Hampden aircraft AE378), Norway, 15 August 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Colin Blair Campbell and Kate Campbell; husband of Maggie Elinor Campbell, of Caernarvon
Roll of Honour: Midland Junction WA
Remembered: Panel 191, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Ten Hampdens (of No. 455 Squadron) were detached to Benbecula (Scotland) on 5th August (1943) to conduct anti-submarine patrols, three aircraft flying that day over the Faeroe – Shetlands channel and landing at Reykjavik in Iceland, returning to Wick (Scotland) the following day after a similar patrol.  The Benbecula detachment was cancelled on 8th August when six junior crews were sent to Tain (Scotland) for specific torpedo-strike training, while the other crews turned once more to their old Norwegian hunting grounds, attempting in all fifty sorties in that area for the disappointing result of one bombing and one torpedo attack.

Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 616

Hampden AE378 took off from RAF Leuchars at 0059 hours on the morning of 15 August 1943 to carry out a shipping reconnaissance in the Leads, Fjords and Anchorages on the Norwegian coast between 2100 and 0400 hours. AE378 was one of three aircraft from the Squadron that took part in the reconnaissance and AE 378 failed to return to base. One of the aircraft Hampden ‘S’ saw what appeared to be the wreckage of a burning aircraft in the Romsdals Fjord, Norway.

The crew members of AE378 were:

Warrant Officer Colin Blair Campbell (406431) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Vincent Bernard Joseph Finn (411763) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Richard Thomas Edwin Latham (124933) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Edward Marriott (551777) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/7/169

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951