Guy Gibson

Biography

guyWing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson VC, DFC, DSO 1 bar (39438)

Born: 12th August 1918, Simla, India
Died: 19th September 1944, Steenbergen
Buried: Steenbergen-en-Kruisland, RC Cemetery, Netherlands

 

 

At the tender age of three, Guy Gibson was brought back to England in 1921, he was educated at St Georges Prep school in Folkstone and St Edwards school Oxford.

His family lived in Porthleven Cornwall. He later joined the RAF in 1936. Following the Dams raid Gibson left the squadron he did however remain in the RAF. After returning from a trip to America with Winston Churchill he found time to write a book entitled “Enemy coast ahead” but this was no replacement for flying, his continual harassment of the Ministry to get back in the air eventually paid off.

On the 19th September 1944 he flew out of Woodhall Spa on a bombing mission flying a Mosquito from 627 squadron, having completed the bombing raid Gibson went on to check anti aircraft positions, sadly the mosquito crashed Killing both Gibson and his navigator Squadron Leader J.B Warwick.

 

Guy Gibson’s Log book for the dams raid

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Service History

·Joined the RAF in August 1936

·Transferred to Yatesbury 16th November 1936

·No 24 Depot 31st January 1937 — Promoted to Acting Pilot Officer

·No 6 Flight training school 6th February 1937

·83 Squadron 4th September 1937 — Promoted to Flying Officer

·16th June 1939 — Awarded DFC 9th July 1940

·No 14 Operational training unit 26 September 1940 — Promoted to Flight Lieutenant 3rd September 1940

·No 16 Operational training unit 10th October 1940

·29 Squadron 13th November 1940 — Promoted to Acting Squadron Leader 29th June 1941 — Awarded Bar DFC

·16th September 1941

·No 51 Operational training unit 23rd December 1941 — Promoted Temporary Squadron leader 1st December 1941

·No 51 Group Headquarters 23rd March 1942 — Promoted to Squadron Leader 13th April 1942

·106 Squadron 13th April 1942 — promoted to Acting Wing Commander

·Awarded DSO — 20th November 1942

·5 Headquarters — Awarded Bar to DSO 2nd April 1943

·617 Squadron 24 March 1943 — Awarded Victoria Cross 28th May 1943

·Special Duties August 1943

·Transferred to Air Ministry 3rd January 1944

·28 GroupCourse 13th March 1944

 

Special Duties August 1943

·Transferred to Air Ministry 3rd January 1944

·28 GroupCourse 13th March 1944

·No 54 base Headquarters 12th June 1944

img0147Guy Gibson is buried at Steenbergen-en-Kruisland

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The two man crew of the mosquito rest in peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

img0152The two man crew of the mosquito rest in peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dutch named a street in Steenbergen the Gibson street. It is located on the spot where Gibson crashed. Back then in 1944, it was a field, today it’s an industrial zone. There is also a Warwickstreet, a Mosquito street and a Lancaster street!

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The sign says: Guy Gibson, Wing Commander RAF. Bearer VC for his main part in the “bounce bombardment” on the Ruhrdams 16-05-43. Crashed near this street and killed 19-9-1944.

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Gibson Street in Steenbergen.

My Thanks go to John Kramer for the above pictures and information

War Graves Comission Record

Citation: The following details are taken from the London Gazette of 27/5/43:- Wing Commander Gibson, whose personal courage knew no bounds, was quickly recognised to be an outstanding operational pilot and leader. He served with conspicuously successful results as a night bomber pilot and also as a night fighter pilot, on operational tours.

In addition, on his “rest” nights he made single-handed attacks on highly defended objectives such as the German battleship Tirpitz. Wing Commander Gibson was then selected to command a squadron formed for special tasks. Under his inspiring leadership this squadron executed one of the most devastating attacks of the war – the breaching of the Moehne and Eder dams.

Wing Commander Gibson personally made the initial attack on the Moehne dam. Descending to within a few feet of the water, he delivered his attack with great accuracy. He then circled very low for thirty minutes, drawing the enemy fire and permitting as free a run as possible to the following aircraft. He repeated these tactics in the attack on the Eder dam. Throughout his operational career, prolonged exceptionally at his own request, he has shown leadership, determination and valour of the highest order.

 

Additional Information

U.S. Legion of Merit (Commander).
Son of Alexander James Gibson and Norah Gibson; husband of Eve Mary Gibson, of Westminster, London.

 

Commemorative Information

Steenbergen-en-Kruisland Roman Catholic Cemetery, Netherlands

Location: Steenbergen en Kruisland RCC is located 44 Km north of Antwerp and 24 Km after crossing the border of Belgium into the Netherlands. From the St Gumanuskerk in the centre of Steenbergenm go to the far end of the Markt and turn left into Grote Kerkstraat. After 150 M this leads into the Kerkplein.

Follow the road through the kerkplein leaving it at the other side into Kruispoort. Continue approximately 1/2 kilometer and the Communal Cemetery is on the right hand side. The two headstones are situated on the left side of the first avenue from the entrance.

 

Historical Information:

Steenbergen-en-Kruisland Roman Catholic Cemetery (Index No. NL. 134) Steenbergen, with a population of 10,357, is a town 8 miles north of Bergen-op-Zoom.

The nearest railway station is at Bergen-op-Zoom, whence there is an hourly bus service to Steenbergen. Accommodation is available in both towns. The cemetery is about 1/4 mile from the centre of Steenbergen, on the south side of the main road thence to Kruisland. In its south-west corner is the joint grave of 2 airmen of the Royal Air Force.