Flying Officer Ronald Gibbs - 10 Squadron  
   

Flying Officer Ronald Alexander Gibbs - RAFVR (MiD)

 

 Flying Officer Ronald Alexander Gibbs was piloting Halifax Mk.BIII RG 443 coded ZA-Q for an operation to bomb the oil refinery  at Wanne-Eickel on February 2/3 1945. The aircraft departed from Melbourne at 2032hrs but crashed near Haelen and Nunhem, 17km East of Weert, killing six of the seven crew on board including F/O Ronald Gibbs.

The rest of the  crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Hometown

Age

Sgt Jack Ashton

RAFVR

Leeds

25

F/Sgt Lional Chell

RAFVR

Stourport on Severn, Worcestershire

25

F/O P.Cook - POW

RAFVR

-

-

F/O William Parham

RAFVR

-

-

Sgt Thomas Smith

RAFVR

Sunderland,Co.Durham

37

Sgt William Seabridge

RAFVR

Maybank,Newcastle,Staffs.

27

 

 Flying Officer Ronald Alexander Gibbs RAFVR was the son of Arthur and  Ada Gibbs of 12 Grange Road, Clapham, London. His mother died when he was very young and his father soon after Ronald’s death. Ronald attended public school, leaving just before his eighteenth birthday and after joining the RAF was to become a Sergeant by the time he was nineteen. He was engaged to Anne, who he had met when he was 16 and romance blossomed but they could not marry because he was in the RAF. He was also stationed at Brize Norton, he was posted to Melbourne just before he was killed and received a Mention in Despatches (MiD).

 F/O Gibbs, Sgt Ashton and F/O Parham were found in the wreckage of their Halifax, three other crew members bodies were found behind a Dutch farm house. Captain Candy, Padre of the 1st Canadian Paratroops performed the burial service.

 F/O Gibbs, Sergeant Ashton and F/O Parham rest in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, while Sergeant Seabridge,Sergeant Smith and F/S Chell rest in Venray War Cemetery.

 F/O P. Cook survived the crash but was seriously injured and spent the rest of the war in hospital.

 

 

 
 

Photo courtesy of Pat Hague, research by Linda Ibrom