15.10.1959 No. 5 FTS Vampire T.11 WZ495 Fl/Sgt. Henry W. Gibson AFM
Operation: Aerobatic display
Date: 15th October 1959 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 5 FTS (Flying Training School)
Type: De Havilland Vampire T.11
Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Location: Ellsworth, Cambridgeshire
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. 'Gip' Henry Walter Gibson AFM 1670190 RAF Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Part of the ‘Hot Box’ RAF Display team based at RAF Oakington.
During a display at a ‘passing out’ parade at the base two Vampires collided after a formation change.
XE897 flown by Fl/Sgt. R.G. Gregory managed to land at the base despite severe damage - the aircraft was later struck off charge.
Sadly the Vampire WZ495 flown by Fl/Sgt. Henry Gibson AFM dived inverted into the ground at Ellsworth, Cambridgeshire - killing the pilot.
Awarded the AFM on the 01st January 1959.
Right: Understood to have been taken after award presentation. On left are his parents with right, 'Nicky' Audrey Gibson (courtesy Miranda Bishop)
WZ495 During service in Malta with 78 Fighter Wing RAAF. Based in Malta from July 1952 - December 1954 (courtesy AWM)
Fl/Sgt. 'Gip' Henry Walter Gibson AFM - Buried at the Old Milverton Church. Son of Walter Henry Gibson and Elsie Clark from Durham, Northumberland, England. Husband of 'Nicky' Audrey Gibson of Leamington.
Researched for Miranda Bishop and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to some sources quoted below. Other information from Aircrew Remembered archives.