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LACW Margaret Campbell WAAF 2041818

LACW Margaret Campbell WAAF 2041818
Author: malcolmmacdonald
Time Stamp:
11:56:00 Sunday, December 24, 2006
Post:
This airwoman from North Uist was an Air Ambulance Nurse with 437 Transport Squadron RCAF and was aboard an aircraft that took off from Antwerp on 24 October 1944 and was forced down near Dunkirk. Margaret was killed at the age of 27 and was interred at the Calais Canadian War Cemetery.

I have been unable to find out any more - can anybody identify the aircraft and the circumstances of the aircraft crashing?



RE: LACW Margaret Campbell WAAF 2041818
Author: Joss Leclercq (Guest)
Time Stamp:
18:12:22 Sunday, December 24, 2006
Post:
hello,

She was flying aboard Dakota III FZ655 of No. 437 Squadron. The plane crashed near St Pol sur Mer, a suburb of Dunkirk, during a cargo flight from Antwerp (B) to U.K. (probably Blakehill Farm where the Squadron was stationed).

The other crew members were F/Sgt Douglas Otto SCHNEIDER, F/Sgt Sydney Alfred GUMBRELL and W/O II John Herman SOPER, both buried in Calais Canadian War Cemetery.

As for the reason of the crash, I can't tell. I've never checked the ORB of that unit, nor the files of the R.C.A.F. airmen (Schneider and Soper). Flak might be considered, as Dunkirk was still a German garrison at the time (and would remain so until VE-Day, the last French town to be freed).

Do you have informations about her ?

I'd be very interested to know more about her and this downing

Joss



RE: LACW Margaret Campbell WAAF 2041818
Author: malcolmmacdonald
Time Stamp:
10:23:35 Monday, December 25, 2006
Post:
All I can add about Margaret is that she was born on the Isle of Berneray but her family moved to live at 3 Cheesebay, North Uist. Her parents were Malcolm and Mrs C.A.Campbell and the father was deceased before her loss. She was the third daughter and had joined up in 1941. She had made several flights from France, Holland, Belgium following D Day. She had brothers sailing in the British Merchant Navy. I believe she is the only woman among the 600 military graves in the cemetery.

With regard to the aircraft and the circumstances of the crash, the press stated that her aircraft was 'forced down' suggesting a German fighter's involvement.

Perhaps someone else can help.

many thanks

Malcolm


RE: LACW Margaret Campbell WAAF 2041818
Author: Joss Leclercq (Guest)
Time Stamp:
12:33:26 Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Post:
hello,

I don't know if Margaret is the only female casualty buried in this cemetery, but that could be the case. She's the only one related to air activity that I know of for Nord and Pas-de-Calais. The Calais Canadian War Cemetery in Leubringhem has a total of 729 casualties alltogether, including 113 Air Force known and 4 Air Force unknown.

A German fighter would be unlikely, the area has been liberated six weeks before (but not Dunkirk who was still under siege and would remain so until May 1945), but several R.A.F. machines were lost to Flak in that area during the autumn and winter 1944-45.

There were some German air drops but they were at night only, and a few night intruder missions as well.

Perhaps one of our Canadian researcher may add information about this loss.

Joss


RE: LACW Margaret Campbell WAAF 2041818
Author: malcolmmacdonald
Time Stamp:
12:41:17 Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Post:
Hi Joss

I fully agree that flak damage was, by far, the most likely cause for the Dakota to crash.

Thank you for the interest shown.

Regards

Malcolm