Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

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smudgersmith218
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Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Gents,

This may be of interest, ;) ;)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... -fire.html :o :o

Regards

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
The Nomads

Dave_Richardson
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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by Dave_Richardson »

Also a feature in the latest Britain at War mag.

Dave

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Denonline
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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by Denonline »

I made an input in another forum much earlier on this matter. It had been suggested that Gibson used to creep up on his crews in the stream to see if they were alert. My view at the time being that he would have been very aware that any such action on his part would have been potentially suicidal.

If the conditions on the night were quite dark, the gunner would have seen a faint outline of a twin engined a/c. creeping up on him. His reaction I believe was the correct one at that time. I certainly would have opened fire & called out corkscrew, seconds counted. The rear gunner had the advantage of his clear vision panel.
I suggest that the head on view of a Mosquito & JU 88 would have been difficult to confirm in the given time.

Even if conditions were clear, only a foolish mosquito pilot would have closed in on the rear of the a/c. in night fighter conditions. It must have been a dreadful feeling of guilt that the gunner suffered.
For the record, I learned post war that moaquito intruders flew with the stream to attack enemy nightfighters.
I cannot recall we having ever been briefed of these activities.

Dennis

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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by Bob Wilton »

Denonline wrote:I made an input in another forum much earlier on this matter. It had been suggested that Gibson used to creep up on his crews in the stream to see if they were alert. My view at the time being that he would have been very aware that any such action on his part would have been potentially suicidal.

If the conditions on the night were quite dark, the gunner would have seen a faint outline of a twin engined a/c. creeping up on him. His reaction I believe was the correct one at that time. I certainly would have opened fire & called out corkscrew, seconds counted. The rear gunner had the advantage of his clear vision panel.
I suggest that the head on view of a Mosquito & JU 88 would have been difficult to confirm in the given time.

Even if conditions were clear, only a foolish mosquito pilot would have closed in on the rear of the a/c. in night fighter conditions. It must have been a dreadful feeling of guilt that the gunner suffered.
For the record, I learned post war that moaquito intruders flew with the stream to attack enemy nightfighters.
I cannot recall we having ever been briefed of these activities.

Dennis
Dennis,

I agree with you that it would be a very foolish to creep up on a bomber formation
to test the alertness of their gunners. I think any gunner if he saw an unidentified
aircraft coming up from behind would have opened fire. If the rear gunner did shoot
him down then he had got himself into a very dangerous situation.Would Guy Gibson
in normal circumstances have let the bombers know he was there, or would he have
kept radio silence?

Bob
Dicam ex animo. Sed nostri evocatis, ut debemus eis libertatem.

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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Here is another angle on the matter ............ this time from my fathers' Flight Engineer, Harry Parkins.
John

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://home.clara.net/heureka/lincolnsh ... gibson.htm

'Guy Gibson just couldn't resist getting himself into trouble again'

Guy Gibson was a controversial figure, in life and death. The manner of his aircraft being downed was surrounded in controversy. Although not a member of 630 Squadron or based at East Kirkby, Gibson did once visit East Kirkby, and in doing so he did not make himself very popular with the crew of 630 Squadron.

Harry Parkins told the story of that visit to the Lincolnshire Echo, one of a series of articles published by the Echo on Guy Gibson.

It was a tale told in a pub in 1944 and has stayed a dark secret for 60 years - but a Lincolnshire veteran today said he knows the real truth about how Guy Gibson died.

Former flight engineer Harry Parkins was told the story in strictest confidence by a friend who flew Lancaster bombers with the Dambusters hero.

Mr Parkins kept his secret for more than six decades - until an article in Monday's Echo prompted him to tell his story. [see Dambusters' Legend Death: The Cover-Up]

Mr Parkins (82), who lives in Washingborough, was a flight engineer on Lancasters flying from RAF East Kirkby.

And he was good friends with an engineer who flew from RAF East Kirkby.

"I remember it was about three months before Gibson died, we were all in the pub and my friend was noticeably very upset," he said.

"We asked him what was wrong and he said on their latest bombing sortie he and his pilot were joined at the last minute by a wing commander who insisted that he fly with them, but they should tell nobody about it."

The mysterious Wing Commander turned out to be Guy Gibson, who was officially banned from flying after the Dambusters raids.

"He flew with them over Germany and my mate said he was a nightmare," remembered Mr Parkins.

"He criticised everything, and after they dropped their bombs he insisted that they keep circling over the target, in spite of the ack-ack gunfire and the enemy fighters flying towards them.

"I don't think my mate had ever been so scared and he told me he was convinced he was going to die.

"But they got home safe and Gibson made them swear they would never tell anybody he was there."

Mr Parkins said Gibson was killed just three months later.

Official records suggest he died after mechanical problems with a Mosquito plane he was flying over Holland on September 19, 1944.

But a different story was circulated in the pubs around Scampton immediately after Gibson's death.

"The story was told by people who had been in that 'nightmare' squad with Gibson," said Mr Parkins.

"What they heard was that Gibson just couldn't resist getting into trouble again when he was flying the Mosquito.

"Apparently as he flew back toward Britain he saw a train and, as he was convinced it was carrying ammunition, he decided to fly low and machine gun it.

"A German guard shot back and Gibson was so low that he was hit in the fuel tank and the plane crashed in flames."

In Monday's Echo local historian Derek Brammer said he believed that Gibson was playfully "dive bombing" at a Lancaster bomber when a crewman accidentally shot him down.

But Dambusters historian Jim Shortland believes that because Gibson was unfamiliar with Mosquitoes, he may have simply forgotten to flip the switch that turned on the second petrol tank.

"These theories are all interesting, but you need to have proof to go with them," he said.

Note: This article was originally published in the Lincolnshire Echo on Thursday 19 October 2006 as 'Guy Gibson just couldn't resist getting himself into trouble again'. Errors in the original article have been corrected.
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K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by Bob Wilton »

Hi John,

When I visited Steenbergen I was told by a Dutchman that the Mosquito was seen
flying low with its cockpit light on, but nothing was said that it was on fire.Soon after
that it crashed in a field. The next day a German Officer ordered his men to bury
Guy Gibson and his Navigator by a hedge row.The local Mayor had a stand up row
with the officer,and in the end he conceded and they were both buried in the local
cemetery.

Bob
Dicam ex animo. Sed nostri evocatis, ut debemus eis libertatem.

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smudgersmith218
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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Gents,

I had the opportunity of talking with two former aircrew ( No.5 Group :o :o ) one flew with No.106 at Metheringham and the other with No.57 Squadron, Scampton I believe.

Both hated Gibson with a passion, this was not just confined to them, their crew also hated him, he was rude, arrogant and off hand to NCO’s and only liked the company of fellow pilots.

He once ( I am told ) landed his “Hack” aircraft ( cannot remember type ) at Metheringham completely disregarding instructions from the control Tower and duty officer, taxied to within a hundred yards of the control tower, parked up and left the aircraft walking off to the WAAF site and picked up his “girlfriend” .

I have no proof of this only the say so of two gentlemen who both completed their tours and speak very highly of 99% of all those they meet while in the RAF.


I have never really carried out too much research on Gibson, and I don't think I will, but from what I have read, he was high maintenance. ! A very brave man nevertheless but seemed to have a few demons. :evil:

Smudge
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
The Nomads

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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by Denonline »

My pilot Johnny Meagher was a fellow officer during Johnny's first tour at Syerston. Johnny is still enjoying his retirement we meet frequently.

Each time that we discuss Winco Gibson, Johnny's view being that he was a disciplinarian, not well liked but respected by many .He could not suffer fools gladly. Johnny says that his leadership skills speak for themselves, this certainly showed with his handling of the Dams op. Johnny is of course as always most diplomatic with his assessments.

Dennis

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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by AlanW »

I've got the combat report by McCormack and Maudesley, in the 61sqdn ORB appendices. What the article's in the news do not do, is describe the incident in full. The combat report states that it was the A/B that saw the "JU88" first, at a position given as "ahead and down" it then moved to the "starboard down" postion, where it was fired on by the M/U gunner, the R/G fired on it almost immediatley after. On being fired on, the aircraft then moved to "dead astern" and attacked the Lanc, which went into a corkscrew, as it did this, the two A/G's opened fire again, and the aircraft broke off the attack.
If this was Gibson, surely, after being fired on whilst in the starboard down position, why would he have been stupid enough to go dead astern and put himself in the firing line, instead of breaking away to safety, it does not make sense. 20 minutes earlier, another 61sqdn Lanc, was also attacked by a JU88, which started it's attack from the starboard down postion.
There is no paralell in warfare, to such courage and determination in the face of danger, over so long a period. Such devotion, should never be forgotten.

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Denonline
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Re: Gibson shot down by rear gunner!!!

Post by Denonline »

I originally read an article a couple of years ago, I cannot recall where from the gunner in question. I did however write to the source of the article challenging some of the statements in the gunners remembrances.

Gibson now being a legend, so many stories prevail.

Dennis

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