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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. G C Matheson


Geoffrey Charles Matheson was born on 22nd June 1912 in Bushey, Hertfordshire. His parents were Sir Charles & Lady Olive Matheson of Henley.

His father reached the rank of Commodore in the Royal Navy. 

On 12th March 1917 Lieutenant Commander CG Matheson was commanding Q19, HMS Privet  (the former merchantman Island Queen), when it engaged and sank a U-boat with gunfire. A number of decorations were awarded to the crew of Privet.

The citation for Matheson's DSO stated that 'The gallant manner in which he fought and handled his ship under great difficulties was most praiseworthy. The action reflected great credit on everyone concerned. Their Lordships' appreciation expressed to Lt Commander Matheson, officers and men for the manner in which they carried out their duties'.

In the 1939 register Commodore Matheson was shown as a Master Mariner (retired) living in Fleet, Hampshire. Sir Charles George Matheson, KCG, DSO died on 24th May 1948.


GC Matheson learned to fly at Phillips and Powis School of Flying, he was awarded Aero Certificate 12551 on 17th January 1935.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission in October 1936. He was first posted to 10 FTS Tern Hill on 16th January 1937 and joined 41 Squadron at Catterick on 7th August.

In September 1939 he was serving with 19 Squadron at Duxford and by the start of the Battle in July 1940 he had moved to 222 Squadron at Hornchurch.





He claimed a Me109 destroyed on 30th August but was shot down himself and made a crash-landing near Sittingbourne in Spitfire P9443, seriously injured.



Above: After crash-landing at Sittingbourne (image courtesy of RAF Re-Enactors/Collectors Forum).




Once recovered he had further postings to 5 GTS Shobdon, 51 OTU High Ercall and then to 418 Squadron RCAF at Ford in early August 1943 as a Squadron Leader.

On 24th August 1943 Matheson’s Mosquito FB VI HJ773 failed to return from a night intruder sortie to Orleans & Chateaudun. His observer, F/Sgt. LW Bush, was also lost.

He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 118.

Lady Matheson died in December 1943.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


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