New generation at Gibson anniversary tribute

Ivan de Groot, Guy Gibson’s great-great nephew, at the graveside of his ancestor on the 75th anniversary of his death. [Pic: Melvin Chambers]

Wg Cdr Guy Gibson and his navigator Sqn Ldr James Warwick both died on 19 September 1944 when the Mosquito in which they were flying crashed on the outskirts of the small Dutch town of Steenbergen, after taking part in an operation attacking the German towns of Rheydt and Mönchengladbach. They are buried in a joint grave in the Catholic cemetery in Steenbergen, where a ceremony marking the 75th anniversaries of their deaths took place on 19 September 2019.

Pic: Sander van der Hall

About 150 people were present and there were two flypasts: the first by the Wings to Victory organisation and the second by the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight. The ceremony was led by Mr Martien van Dijk.

Wreaths were laid by the following:

  • Mrs Baartmans, Deputy Mayor of Steenbergen
  • Sub Lt Pannell RN, UK Embassy
  • Mr Ivan Tamborero de Groot, great-great nephew of Guy Gibson, on behalf of the Gibson family
  • Mr Aart Walraven, Wings to Victory
  • Mr Glyn Hepworth, 617 Squadron Association
  • Mr Russ Kitely, Group 617 UK
  • Dr R Heinrichs, Royal Netherlands Air Force
  • Representative of RAF Aircrew Association

Ivan de Groot is the great-great nephew of Guy Gibson, and this was his first ever visit to his great-great uncle’s grave. He is 23 and a student at Eindhoven University.

Pic: Sander van der Hall

Thanks to Sander van der Hall and Melvin Chambers.

6 thoughts on “New generation at Gibson anniversary tribute

  1. Tony Knight October 2, 2019 / 2:00 pm

    I’ve been there a few times. Well done to all for this tribute.

  2. October 2, 2019 / 2:51 pm

    Just flew on the CWHM Lancaster. A fantastic experience. The museum also has a virtual reality RAF raid on Berlin also fantastic.
    Greg Turek

  3. Barry Smith October 2, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    Great to keep the memories of this famous pilot going for generations to come, keep up the memories.

  4. John Bauslaugh October 2, 2019 / 4:42 pm

    Do you have any editorials on Captain George William Lancey. He was a dambuster.

    • charlesfoster October 4, 2019 / 9:50 am

      Dear John
      Thanks for your comment. George Lancey was posted to 617 Squadron on 25 November 1944 and was posted out again after the war ended in Europe, on 29 May 1945. He undertook about a dozen operations in this time.
      By coincidence, in an earlier phase of the war he had been in David Maltby’s crew in 97 Squadron as his second pilot, before moving on to form his own crew. I wrote about this period in my earlier book, Breaking the Dams. — Charles Foster

  5. kzvxrpl October 3, 2019 / 2:02 pm

    Heartwarming, thank you.

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