The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. G R McGregor
Gordon Roy McGregor was born in Montreal, Canada on 26th September 1901 and educated at St. Andrews College, Toronto and McGill University, Montreal. He was the winner in 1935, 1936 and 1938 of the Webster Trophy, open to non-professional airmen and awarded for airmanship and navigation.
McGregor was commissioned in October 1938, while serving with the RCAF Auxiliary in 115 Squadron. At the outbreak of war, pilots of the squadron and pilots of No.1 Squadron of the regular RCAF formed No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron. McGregor was a Flight Commander with this squadron when it arrived in the UK on 20th June 1940.
McGregor claimed a Do17 destroyed on 26th August, a Do17 probably destroyed and another damaged on 1st September, a Me110 damaged on the 4th, a He111 destroyed on the 11th, another probably destroyed on the 15th, a Ju88 destroyed and a Me109 and two Do17's damaged on the 27th, and Me109's destroyed on the 30th and 5th October.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25th October 1940).
McGregor commanded the squadron during November and December 1940. In January 1941 he was given command of 2 (RCAF) Squadron at Digby, which was re-numbered 402 Squadron on 1st March.
McGregor was promoted on 14th April to lead the Canadian Wing at Digby. He came off operations on 31st August 1941 and returned to Canada but was back in London by October. He was appointed Director of Air Staff at HQ RCAF London on 5th December and did this job until 17th April 1942, when he again returned to Canada.
He formed and then commanded a Wing to give air support to the Americans in Alaska. McGregor was made an OBE (gazetted 1st January 1943), promoted to Group Captain and posted back to Canada in late February 1943. On 1st April he took command of Patricia Bay, from where its squadrons served on defence of the west coast of Canada.
McGregor returned to England on 23rd February 1944, spent four months at HQ 83 Group and in mid-July was given command of 126 (RCAF) Wing. He still flew occasional sorties, one of his last being on 28th March 1945, when he destroyed a locomotive.
Said to be the oldest Canadian fighter pilot to see action in the war, McGregor left the Wing on 27th September, returned to Canada and was released from the RCAF on 27th November 1945.
He was awarded the C de G (Fr) in 1947, the Czech Military Cross and was made a Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords.
From 1948 to 1969 McGregor was with Trans-Canada Airlines and Air Canada, becoming President of the Company.
He died in Montreal on 8th March 1971.
His portrait was made by Cuthbert Orde (below) and Eric Kennington (bottom)..