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The Airmen's Stories - F/O J Gillan


James Gillan was born in Aberdeen on 24th January 1914, the son of William Gillan, a spirits merchant (died 1925) and Mary Taylor Gillan (nee Scorgie).

He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School 1920-32 and went on to Aberdeen University, where he was a keen golfer and played full-back for the Rugby First XI.


Above image courtesy of Aberdeen Grammar School via Gordon Crookshanks.


Gillan joined the RAF in January 1936 on a short service commission. On 9th April he was posted for intermediate and advanced training to 4 FTS Abu Sueir, Egypt and he joined 55 Squadron at Dhibban, Iraq on 15th December 1936.

Back in the UK, Gillan was supernumerary at No. 1 RAF Depot at Uxbridge in November 1938. He was probably instructing at 2 FTS Brize Norton in 1940 because he was posted from there to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 6th July. On the 13th Gillan made a forced-landing at Moulton March, Holbeach in Hurricane 2468 after his engine failed.

Gillan was posted to 601 Squadron at Tangmere on 3rd August 1940. He failed to return from a combat off Portland on the 11th in Hurricane P3783.

He was 26 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 5.




Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


He is also commemorated on the family grave at Springbank Cemetery, Aberdeen.


Above image courtesy of Garioch Graver.

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