Sergeant Colin Millis CAMPBELL

Service No: 402436
Born: Quirindi NSW, 19 December 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 August 1940
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Prisoner of War (from the loss of No. 460 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z1412 on 9 June 1942), Germany, 29 August 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Peter Colin and Ada Florence Campbell, of Quirindi, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Quirindi NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Quirindi Clock Tower and War Memorial, Quirindi NSW

TDate: 8-9 June 1942
Target: Essen
Total Force: Dispatched – 170, Attacking – 120
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 7, Attacking – 7
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 294
Total Aircraft Lost: 17
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1

The last of this disappointing series of raids (1) followed on 8th-9th June, and again resulted in very scattered bombing. Three Australian Wellingtons bombed on their estimated navigational position, two identified the aiming point, and a sixth, which was caught in searchlights and hit by gun fire, made a timed run from the position of one of the recognised enemy decoy fire sites.

(1) Previous raids against Essen in this series were on March 8-9, 9-10, 10-11, 25-26, April 6-7, 10-11, 12-13, June 1-2 and 2-3 1942.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 323, 325

Wellington Z1412 took off from RAF Breighton at 2314 hours on the night of 8th June 1942 to attack Essen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. It was later learned that all the crew had became Prisoners of war and Sargent Campbell had subsequently died.

The crew members of Z1412 were:

Sergeant Colin Millis Campbell (402436) (Rear Gunner) P0W, Died: 29 August 1942
Flight Sergeant Cyril Douglas Henden (747961) (RAFVR) (Observer) P0W
Sergeant (later Air Vice Marshal) Douglas David Hurditch (402862) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 19 March 1975
Sergeant Eric Francis Maher (404448) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 7 December 1945
Sergeant Donald Tinkler (1006942) (RAFVR) (Front Gunner) PoW

In a report by Sergeant Hurditch (later an Air Vice Marshal) he stated: “After bombing the target the aircraft was attacked by JU88, height 13,000 feet. First attack damaged rear turret and recuperators, rudder, elevator trims, hydraulics and set the aircraft on fire. Second attack at 5,000 feet wounded rear gunner, navigator and wireless operator. Third attack over Holland at 2000 feet, unserviceable starboard engine and set aircraft on fire. Order given to stand by to abandon aircraft but cancelled as height insufficient. Crash landed.” Hurditch was captured after 5 hours on the Dutch coast near Laiden. There is also a comprehensive report dated April 1945 written by the then Flight Lieutenant Maher after his release as a PoW, on the combat and evacuation of the aircraft by the crew and of his experience as a PoW. (NAA: A705, 166/27/646 refers)


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 A9301, 402436
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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