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The Airmen's Stories - P/O W H G Gordon


William Hugh Gibson Gordon was born in Aberdeen in 1920, the son of William Gordon and Maggie Ann Gordon (nee Wills).

William Gordon Senior was born in Aberdour, Banffshire in April 1884 and enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders at Aberdeen in January 1903, aged 18 years. A Company Sergeant-Major in the 2nd Battalion on the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, by the war’s end he had attained the rank of Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel with a Battalion command, an extraordinary feat.

He was wounded by shrapnel at Ypres while serving as Adjutant to the 5th Gordons and 4th Seaforth Highlanders. He was concussed during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle but remained on duty, however following the fighting at Loos in September 1915 he began to exhibit symptoms of nervous exhaustion, having spent 66 days in the trenches.

After convalescing he returned to the 2nd Gordons, who were later in support of the Italians who were facing the Austrians in Northern Italy, he participated in the crossing of the River Piave.

Gordon took command of the Battalion when Lt. Col. HA Ross DSO was killed in action in October 1918. He ended the war as DSO MC with two Mentions in Dispatches and the Italian War Cross.


William Hugh Gibson Gordon began his education at Mortlach Primary School.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his elementary flying training on 13th March 1939.

On 13th May 1939 Gordon went to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge for a short induction course. He moved on to 6 FTS Little Rissington for No. 12 Course, which ran from 1st May to 6th November 1939.




Gordon joined 234 Squadron direct from 6 FTS on 6th November. The squadron had only recently been reformed at Leconfield.

Gordon shared in the probable destruction of a Ju88 on 12th July 1940 and claimed a Me109 destroyed over the Isle of Wight on 24th August.

He was shot down and killed in combat with Me109s on 6th September. His Spitfire, X4035, crashed on Howbourne Farm, Hadlow Down.

His funeral took place two weeks later at Mortlach Parish Church and he was buried with full military honours.

However a licensed excavation of the crash site in early 2003 found Gordon's body still in the aircraft. For the benefit of his family a weighted coffin must have been shipped north in September 1940.

Gordon was finally laid to rest in July 2003 in Mortlach Parish churchyard, Banff. He is also remembered on a memorial plaque, presented to Mortlach Primary School in 2003.





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