The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J R H Gayner
John Richard Hensman Gayner was born on 11th March 1918 and joined 615 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Kenley at its formation on 1st June 1937 and was one of four candidates for pilot training.
He was called for full-time service on 24th August 1939. He married Pamela Rolt on 9th September 1939 in Reigate.
Gayner flew with 615 Squadron to Merville on 15th November in a Gladiator. On 14th July 1940 he shared in the destruction of a Ju87.
He was wounded when he crash landed his Hurricane I P2878 near Portsmouth following combat on the 26th August 1940. He was released from hospital and back with 615 on 20th September but awaiting assessment by a medical board. He left the squadron in November.
Gayner commanded 153 Squadron in North Africa from December 1943 to July 1944.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 9th June 1944) and released from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.
Gayner died in March 1987 in Luton, Bedfordshire.