07.05.1944 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire IX MH483 P/O. Dowbiggin
Date: 07th May 1944
Unit: No. 401 Squadron (The Rams)
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: RAF Tangemere
Location: Near Laon, France (note)
Pilot: P/O. Thomas William Dowbiggin J/85321 RCAF PoW Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a ’Sweep over Lille.
The pilot P/O. Dowbiggin tried to switch fuel tanks when the engine faltered - the engine then failed and he was forced to crash land his Spitfire.
Sq/Ldr Lorne Maxwell Cameron J/15378 RCAF and his wingman then strafed the aircraft to prevent it falling into enemy hands.
The pilot was attempted to make contact with the Belgium resistance which he did and remained with them for some three months prior to being betrayed and then taken PoW. Liberated by the allis on the 02nd May 1945.
(note) Some publication have Laon as the area he came down. Others state that he came down in Belgium, just across the border from France. It seems likely that he did come down in Belgium as he tried to join the resistance at Grand Reng before he was eventually captured at Rouveroy and first being held at the famous St. Gilles Prison in Brussels.
None, survived the war.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil and sources as quoted below: