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The Airmen's Stories - P/O G L Campbell


Gillian Lorne Campbell was born in Surabaya, Java on 22nd July 1920, the son of Sir Edward and Lady Campbell of Bromley in Kent. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Peterhouse College, Cambridge, where he was also a member of the University Air Squadron.

He was awarded Aero Certificate 18849 at the University Aero Club on 26th June 1939. He joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot and was called up on 1st September 1939.

On completion of training he was commissioned and joined 236 Squadron on 5th August 1940.

On the 20th his Blenheim was damaged by anti-aircraft fire over Pembroke Dock but he returned safely to St Eval.



In 1941 Campbell was serving with 272 Squadron flying Beaufighters. On July 24th he claimed two Ju87s destroyed over a convoy near Sicily, one in flames.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th January 1942). He was still serving with 272 in Malta in March 1942 but at some point subsequently was posted to Boscombe Down for flight testing.

He was killed on December 23rd when flying Spitfire Mk. 9 BS139 on trials with a 30 gallon overload tank to determine performance at high altitude. The accident report said:

44 minutes after take-off the aircraft was heard descending to the south-west. It impacted at Cadbury Farm, Mottisfont, Hampshire in dense fog.

Campbell was 22 and is buried in Durrington Cemetery, Wiltshire.






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