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WW2 RCAF Casualty medal group to F/O C.D Sibbett, At Least 4 or 5 confirmed kills as Navigator/Observor in Mossies!

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Hi All,

For a couple of years now i have had this group in my possession but I have never really researched it. I recently decided that it would be good to have a try to find out anything new and to my surprise I have uncovered a fascinating story! Firstly, the medals are the 1939-45 Star, the Air Crew Europe Star with France and Germany Clasp, Defence Medal, War Medal and the Canadian war service medal with the Overseas Clasp. Lastly, there is the Silver Birks Casualty bar named to him. These awards are all confirmed on his Service record which I have.

J/15762 Flying Officer Clarence Deane Sibbett was born in 1910 and went by his middle name of Deane. He was the Son of Henry Thomas Sibbett and Annie M Sibbett. He was a native of Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. He was a graduate of the University of British Columbia and was married to a Mrs Sylvia M Sibbett.

He served as a Navigator in De Havilland Mosquito's with 410 Squadron and later in 409 Squadron. Both of these were Tactical Fighter Squadrons.

After a bit of internet research, I have uncovered the fact that he served as a Navigator/Observer to a number of Pilots. The First of these was Flying Officer E.S.P Fox with whom Sibbett joined 410 Squadron in late August 1943. 

The following excerpt is taken from the history of 410 (Cougar) Squadron;

'The first 3 weeks of September were somewhat quieter than August had been. Ranger sorties were cancelled, but flower operations continued in support of Bomber Command with 15 sorties between the 3rd and 16th. These resulted in six bombing attacks on St. Michel airfield, Laon airfield (twice), one railway bridge near Avranches, another south of Rennes and a marshalling yard near Fourgeres. In addition Flying Officers E.S.P Fox and C.D Sibbett, who had joined the squadron in August, blew up a locomotive in the last attack of this type carried out by the Cougars.'

'On the night of the 3rd/4th of January 1944, Flying Officers E.S.P Fox and C.D Sibbett stalked a violently jinking Dornier 217 that was scattering 'window'. The first burst missed, but Fox clung to his quarry for tine (sic) minutes despite its frantic manoeuvres until he could get in another long squirt. A large piece flew off the starboard side of the Dornier; then it exploded and went straight down in flames, striking the sea with a flash that lit up the clouds over a wide area.'

This was the second confirmed 'Kill' credited to Flying Officers Fox and Sibbett.

In March 1944, when Sibbett had transferred to 409 squadron (The Nighthawks), He was partnered with Squadron Leader Richard Jephson. Midnight is Noon for Nighthawks (the history of 409 squadron) takes up the story:

'409 Squadron flew its first sorties over the beachhead. Patrols on the 6th, 7th and 8th were uneventful, largely because of the Luftwaffe, apart from a few scattered raids, were late getting into the fray. On the 9th, Squadron Leader R.S Jephson, "B" Flight Commander, got the first kill over France. Jephson and his navigator, Flying Officer C.D Sibbett, were flying a beachhead patrol when the controller vectored them after a bandit. Sibbett's AI soon registered a "Blip" and the navigator brought his pilot onto the tail of a JU.88. Following standard night fighting procedure, Jephson closed in, identified his target, and opened fire. His first burst set the enemy's starboard engine on fire, a second started a blaze on the port engine, and as the Nighthawk pilot pressed the firing button once more the fuselage disintergrated and the plane fell from the sky exploding as it hit the ground about 30 or 40 miles South-East of Le Havre.'

The university of British Columbia had a regular news section about past alumni throughout the war and i have found this extract:

Flying Officer Clarence D Sibbett, RCAF - Shot down a German aircraft near Le Havre while on patrol over France - Also shot down a Dornier 217 in a raid over London during March.

These are Sibbett's 3rd and 4th confirmed 'Kills' as a Navigator! 

Finally, Sibbett was partnered with Flying Officer Murray Taylor whilst still serving with 409 Squadron. 

Aircrew Remembered - 409 Squadron the Nighthawks gives the following details:

'The hectic nights between D-Day and the allied break through at Caen when combats were almost a nightly affair. And some of the crews who scored: - Murray Taylor and Deane Sibbett; Ken Livingstone and Jack Boomer; Mac MacDonald and Curly Colborne' and the list goes on..

I have not researched this any further but it would appear that Sibbett was actually a Navigator/Observer ACE!! Clearly, more research is needed to find out about the Kill(s) that Taylor and Sibbett were credited with!

Sadly, on the 15th of July 1944, whilst on Evasive Action training, Flying Officer Murray Taylor and Deane Sibbett's aircraft lost control and crashed. Both officers were killed outright.

It is amazing to me that Flying Officer Sibbett was not awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross as I have seen awards for far lesser achievement to be completely honest! 

Sadly, as fascinating as this is, I bought this group when I was really big on Fighter Command groups but now I have moved onto POW's so it doesn't fit my collection anymore! I'm not sure if this is really bad form but i am getting rid of this group and it can be found in the Sale Room section of GMIC.

I hope you have found this post as interesting as I did when I was researching it! As you are probably aware, it is rare to find such detailed stories of the 'Kills' so it was such a brilliant purchase and a shame that my collecting field has changed!

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