Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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43157   Pilot Officer James Hamilton Gordon
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 05/01/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 15 Squadron, Royal Air Force (British Air Force)
Date Of Birth: 16/09/1910
Died: 25/05/1940 (Killed in Action)
Age: 29
Summary      
James Hamilton Gordon was the son of James and Matilda Gordon. He was born in 1909 in the Stewartstown area. The 1911 census lists the family in Donaghey, Stewartstown. His father was a bookkeeper. James Gordon went on to be the husband of Virtue Gordon of Holywood, County Down. Pilot Officer Gordon served with 15 Squadron of the Royal Air Force. On 25th May 1940, his aircraft was shot down near St Inglevert with the loss of all three crew.
Further Information
James Hamilton Gordon was the son of James and Matilda Gordon. James Gordon and Matilda Hardy were married on 2nd October 1901 in the district of Cookstown.
James Gordon was born on 16th September 1909 in the Stewartstown area.
Known family: James Gordon. Matilda Gordon, James Hamilton Gordon (born 16th September 1909).
The 1911 census lists James Hamilton as a baby living at house 19 in Donaghey, Stewartstown. His father was a bookkeeper.
James Gordon went on to be the husband of Virtue Gordon of Holywood, County Down.
Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) James Hamilton Gordon served with 15 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, based at R.A.F Wyton.
On 25th May 1940, his aircraft, a Blenheim Mark IV with three crew set off from Wyton as art of a 24 aircraft daytime sortie to seek out targets in the Rety-Fiennes-Guines triangle. They were detailed to bomb troops, vehicles and vital bridges just behind the German front line, which was closing in on the main body of the British Expeditionary Force.
Their aircraft had the serial no. serial number P6913.
Pilot Officer Gordon’s aircraft was shot down near St Inglevert on the main road to Calais between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Marquise, with the loss of all three crew.
The two other crew members were 43157 Pilot Officer Douglas Sidney Reeve Harriman and 580567 Sergeant Peter Bloomer, both from London.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th July 1940: Roll of Honour
GORDON – 25th May 1940, killed in action at Calais, Pilot Officer James Hamilton Gordon, Pier View, Holywood; also beloved cousin of Enie Cochrane, Maidie Thompson, Joe Hardy and Mollie Hardy of Donaghey.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th July 1940: Roll of Honour
GORDON – 25th May 1940, killed in action at Calais, Pilot Officer J H Gordon, nephew of Miss L Hardy and H S Hardy, J.P., Donaghey.
Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) James Hamilton Gordon and his two comrades are buried in a communal grave in St Inglevert Churchyard. They are the only three CWGC casualties in this cemetery. His inscription reads ‘HE HELPED TO MAKE THE ROAD FOR US TO FIND THE PATH OF PEACE’
James Hamilton Gordon - group grave
James Hamilton Gordon - group grave
From left to right: P Bloomer - J H Gordon - D S R Harriman
James Hamilton Gordon is commemorated locally on Stewartstown Cenotaph and on the Stewartstown Church of Ireland Roll Of Honour for WW2.
There was a James Gorman from Stewartstown who served with the Royal Air Force in World War Two, enlisting late in 1940. Gorman was a famed boxer and goalkeeper.
The CWGC records Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) James Hamilton Gordon as the son of James and Matilda Gordon. He is also recorded as the husband of Virtue O Gordon of Holywood, County Down.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Stewartstown Stewartstown On Stewartstown War Memorial 54.577600 -6.676469
2 Donaghey Stewartstown Census listing in Donaghey 54.587301 -6.751490
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 Census lists Gordon family Lists James Hamilton as a baby at house 19 in Donaghey, Stewartstown, Tyrone
2 Blenheim lost 25 May 1940 near St. Quentin Lists information about the flight and the German pilots who shot the plane down.
3 Bomber Command Details of crew and crash
4 FindAGrave.com Photo of P/O James Hamilton's grave
5 National Archives UK Details of air crash can be purchased here
6 RAF Commands Details of crew
7 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of P/O James Hamilton's grave can be purchased here
8 ww2cemeteries.com Photo of P/O James Hamilton's grave
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021