10/11.11.1944 No. 608 Squadron Mosquito B-XX KB360 6T-H Fl/Lt. Stuart D. Webb
Date: 10/11th November 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 608 Squadron
Type: Mosquito B-XX
Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk
Location: Maltmas Farm, Friday Bridge, Cambridgeshire
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Stuart Douglas Webb J/5122 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Nav: F/O. John Campbell 1670594 (164124) RAFVR Age 20. Injured (1)
Update October 2015: Further information found on the navigator after extensive research from Dave Jones.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off for an operation to Hannover at 21:55 hrs.
Shortly after leaving base the port engine failed. Drop tanks and bombs had been jettisoned on open fenland but it proved impossible to achieve stable flight and the aircraft crashed at Maltmas Farm, Friday Bridge at 22:05hrs.
It was assumed the aircraft was missing in action when it did not return from the operation.
Due to the radio silence rule no SOS had been sent alerting RAF Downham Market of what had actually happened.
The Mosquito was discovered in the early hours of Saturday 11th November upside down in a field with the undercarriage up and locked.
Navigator, F/O. John Campbell was badly injured, but found alive.
Right: Fl/Lt. Stuart Douglas Webb (courtesy David Jones)
The only other details that we have on F/O. Campbell is that it appears he had been promoted to F/O. between October 3rd and October 6th 1944 (according to the Squadron logs)
Fl/Lt. Webb however had sadly died during the night, probably both as a result of his injuries and from exposure - It had been a bitterly cold winter night on the bleak Cambridge Fens.
In July 2017 Dave Jones sent further detailed information:
KB360 returned from operations on the morning of November 8th 1944 after a mission to Hanover flown by Flt/Lt M.H.M. Maclean DFC and his navigator Sgt Richard Todd.
It was immediately reported unserviceable, having developed a faulty magneto on the port engine. It was examined and found defective. Instead of replacing the magneto the fitter only replaced the brushes and on a test run-up found to be OK. Similarly on a pre-flight run-up mag check prior to the Hanover mission of the 10th it was found to be operating within limits so Flt/Lt Webb duly signed off the form 700.
However, moments after take off it failed completely. Flt/Lt Webb jettisoned the drop tanks and bomb payload beyond the village of Outwell, and attempted a forced landing on open fenland. The landing was actually successful but the undercarriage fouled a dyke flipping the aircraft over onto its back whereupon it broke up coming to rest at the rear of Edgeley cottage adjacent to Maltmas Farm, Friday Bridge, where both aircraft and crew lay undiscovered for over eight hours.
Fl/Lt. Webb suffered a serious impact scull fracture to the right frontal sinus and exposure which proved fatal. F/O. Campbell sustained head injuries and a shattered right arm and shoulder. He never regained the full use of his right arm. He survived the severe cold of the night by laying next to one of the engines for warmth.
Left: Hptm. Friedrich-Karl ‘Nasen’ Muller (archives)
The same crew escaped serious injury earlier in the year. On the evening of August 23/24th on an operation to Köln they were attacked by Hptm. Friedrich-Karl ‘Nasen’ Muller (2) of 1./NJGr.10 over Eindhoven - making four continued attacks and claiming a kill.
However, the pilot managed to bring the Mosquito KB242 back to England before crash landing at Woodbridge, Suffolk in the early hours at 01:10.
(1) Following extensive research by Dave Jones he has managed to establish that F/O. John Campbell was Born in 1924 son of Mr T.D. Campbell the landlord of ‘The Clachan Inn’ Drymen. Married Bertha (née) Ross of Croftamie and died in 1981 aged just 57. Known by family and friends as 'Ian', buried at Church of Scotland, Drymen.
(2) Hptm. ‘Nasen’ Muller - this was his 24th night fighter claim of the war from which he survived with a total of 30 kills. He died on the 2nd november 1987.
Above: Photographs as supplied by David Jones and the daughter of the Navigator, Patricia Black - August 2016
Above: The grave of Fl/Lt. Stuart Douglas Webb at Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave inscription reads: 'The Lord Bless Thee and Keep Thee, Now And For Evermore.' Also shown the grave of F/O. John Campbell (courtesy Dave Jones)
Fl/Lt. Stuart Douglas Webb. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 51.A.2.
Further information: Son of Harry and Zoe Edith Blair Webb, brother of Zoe Evelyn (Eve)Parker (nee Webb) of 1338 Ouellette Ave, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Born, Thursday January 6th 1921 in Ontario, Canada. Trained at No.6 Service Flying Training School, Dunnville, Ontario. Qualified on course 20, February 1st - April 22nd 1941.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks for additional extensive information to David Jones, relative of pilot Fl/Lt. Webb. Also to the daughter of the navigator, Patricia Black. Other sources as quoted below.