Flying Officer Colin Cuthill GIBSON

Service No: 418831
Born: Parkville VIC, 6 May 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 June 1942
Unit: No. 605 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Blackbushe, Hampshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 605 Squadron Mosquito aircraft PZ390), Germany, 18 January 1945, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David and Mary Grace Gibson; husband of Beryl Maude Gibson, of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. B. Comm. (Melbourne). Buried at the time in Erkelenz Town Cemetery, but whose grave is now lost
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Special Memorial, Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0517 hours on 18 January 1945, Mosquito PZ390 took off from Blackbushe detailed to carry out an intruder mission and attack transport in the Erkelenz/Heinsberg area. A secondary target was to attack railways in the Wesel/Munster/Osnabruck area. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The crew were very experienced on intruder patrols having done 21 sorties as a crew.

The crew members of PZ390 were:

Flying Officer Colin Cuthill Gibson (418831) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Graham Murray Lumsden (414806) (Pilot)

A Missing Research and Enquiry team later reported: “witnesses stated that in January 1945, the inhabitants of the area suffered from constant strafing and low level bombing attacks. As from 1800 hours every enemy plane which were thought to be based in the Gelsenkirchen area, constantly harassed the place. At dawn on the 18 January 1945, there was a half hour silence until the day shift went into action. Some Germans had just left the shelter when an aircraft appeared from the west with motors shut off at about a height of 100 feet. Shortly after it crossed the railway line near Terheeg, and there was a strong flash and the aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was thought that the aircraft had hit a high tension cable, and pieces of wreckage were spread over a wide are. The aircraft was identified as Mosquito PZ390.”


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, 166/15/397

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