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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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RAF Crest
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

Serial: WZ495

Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire

Location: Ellsworth, Cambridgeshire

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. 'Gip' Henry Walter Gibson AFM 1670190 RAF Killed


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)

Burial details:

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.

KTY 10.12.2015 / photo added 14.12.2015

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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