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The Airmen's Stories - P/O E G Gilbert


Ernest George Gilbert was born on 4th November 1912 and was educated at Chatham Junior Technical School.

He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice, beginning at 2 Wing, School of Technical Training, Halton on 6th September 1928. He passed out as a Fitter in August 1931 and was posted to RAF Eastchurch.



Having earlier applied for pilot training, Gilbert was selected and he went to 5 FTS Sealand on 1st October 1934. After qualifying as a Sergeant-Pilot he joined 6 Squadron at Ismailia when its Fighter Flight was reformed in October 1935. At Heliopolis on 1st March 1936 the Flight joined with a Flight from 29 Squadron and they reformed as 64 Squadron.



Above: Officers Mess Hornchurch November 1940

(L to R): P/O N Howkins, P/O J Lawson-Brown, F/Lt. J Thomson, F/Lt. D Taylor, P/O J Rowden, P/O A Towers, P/O EG Gilbert, P/O AR Tidman, S/Ldr. ARD MacDonell, P/O EJ Watson, P/O R Jones, S/Ldr. J Rankine, P/O J Pippet, P/O P Beake, P/O T Gray



The squadron returned to the UK in September 1936, to Martlesham Heath, and Gilbert was serving with it for the next four years. On 12th June 1940 he shared in the destruction of a He111.

On 13th August he damaged a Do17 and on the 15th he made a forced-landing at Hawkinge, damaged in combat with Me109's over Dungeness. On the 16th he damaged a He111 and on the 18th he shared in the destruction of a He111.

Commissioned from Flight Sergeant in early September 1940, Gilbert was posted to CFS Upavon on 1st December for an instructors course. From January 1941 until 29th September 1944, when he came off flying on medical grounds, he instructed at 14 EFTS Elmdon, 17 EFTS North Luffenham and Peterborough and 21(P) AFU at Wheaton Aston.

Gilbert was serving in the Administrative and Special Duties Branch when he retired on 11th March 1948. He was re-employed on 1st November 1950, in the Air Traffic Control Branch, serving at home and overseas prior to his retirement on 4th November 1962 as a Flight Lieutenant, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.

He died in August 2003 in Stafford.



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