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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A Campbell


Alan Campbell was born in Nelson, Lancashire on 23rd January 1920, the son of John and Mary Hannah Campbell. He was taken to New Zealand as a baby.

Campbell volunteered for the RNZAF in November 1939 and reported to the Ground Training School at Weraroa on 18th December.



After completing a gunnery course at the Air Observers School Ohakea he left for the UK at the end of March 1940 in the SS Akaroa, arriving on 9th May.

Campbell was posted to 264 Squadron at Duxford, and in the course of continuing his training he flew two operational sorties as an LAC and without his Air Gunners badge. He was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down on 27th July where he qualified and received his brevet. After rejoining 264 Squadron on 17th September he was promoted to Sergeant.

In early November 1940 he was posted to 75 Squadron at Feltwell. He made thirty operational flights in Wellingtons and at the end of his tour he went to 23 OTU Pershore as an instructor.

He returned to operations at the end of April 1942 and joined the recently-reformed 156 Squadron at Alconbury. At his own request he went back to 75 Squadron on 19th May to do a second tour.

Campbell was front gunner in Wellington III X3664 which failed to return from a raid on Hamburg on the night of 28th/29th July 1942. German evidence revealed that it had received a direct hit from ground guns at 2.10 am on the 29th and crashed at Stade. It was Campbell's fifty-second operation.

Also lost were:

F/Lt. PJ Wilson RNZAF
F/Sgt. RF Davis RNZAF
F/Sgt. VK Westerman RNZAF
Sgt. GE Caitcheon RNZAF
Sgt. RH Brisco RNZAF

Campbell was 22. He was buried in Stade Cemetery but was later re-interred in Becklingen War Cemetery.


Above image courtesy of Dave of Findagrave.

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