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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. B G D Gardner


Bernard George Derry Gardner, of Bassett, Hampshire, was born on 25th July 1916, the son of Bernard Villiers Gardner and Lilian Gardner.

He attended Tauntons School before being employed as a draughtsman by the Ordnance Survey Office.

He joined the RAFVR in September 1937 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 11 FTS and joined 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 27th July 1940. He claimed three Me109s destroyed on 12th August.



On 14th August Gardner was flying Spitfire P9540 DW-M and engaged in combat at approx. 1330.

The 610 squadron CO, S/Ldr. J Ellis recorded:

'Sergeant Gardner was engaged with enemy bombers and fighters over Dover, and after shooting down a He113 he attacked, single handed, ten Dornier 215's. During this attack his aircraft was hit several times and Sergeant Gardner received an incendiary bullet in the left arm. Despite fainting twice in the air, he successfully force landed at Wye with his undercarriage retracted and was taken to Ashford Hospital.'

(The He113 must have been a Me109 and the Dorniers Do17s).

On 28th June 1941 Gardner was killed, serving as a Flight Sergeant with 75 Signals Wing. His Blenheim IV V5755 was shot down by friendly AA at Lydd, Kent. Also lost were Sgt. RR Barnett, F/Sgt. SL Peach and Sgt. WO Fenton.

Gardner was 24 and is buried in Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton.





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