Gordon Henry Taylor "Gord" Farquharson


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RCAF Shoots Down 26 Enemy Planes
in Normandy Between Dawn and Dusk

By P/O H. R. McDONALD, A Canadian Airfield in France, June 29, 1944 - (CP) - Canadian fighter planes, in one of the most brilliant achievements in the history of the R.C.A.F., shot down 26 out of a total of 34 enemy aircraft destroyed over the Normandy front between dawn and dusk yesterday.
In addition, R.C.A.F. pilots chalked up a number of enemy planes probably shot down and a number of others which were damaged.
Four pilots scored double kills. They were W/C J. E. (Johnny) Johnson, English–born commander of a Canadian fighter wing operating from an R.C.A.F. base in Normandy, and F/Ls. H. C. Trainor, Charlottetown; W. T. Klersy, 14 Harcroft Rd., Toronto, and R. K. Hayward, St. John's, Nfld.

Destroys Two, Damages Third
Hayward destroyed two FW-190's and damaged a third, which gave him the highest R.C.A.F. individual score of the day.
Earlier reports indicated the Canadian airmen had downed 18 enemy planes in yesterday's daylight operations.
The complete figures were reached by intelligence officers today after a period of aerial operations which exceeded in intensity anything since the Allied Normandy beachhead was opened June 6.
Besides the toll of enemy planes, which included all fighter types, R.C.A.F. pilots also strafed transport on the roads.Final claims on two aircraft are being sifted
Among the R.C.A.F. Spitfire pilots contributing to the total with one Hun each were: F/Ls. Irving Kennedy, Cumberland, Ont.; G. R. Patterson, Kelowna, B.C.; J. McElroy, Kamloops, B.C.; Henry Zary, New York; R. M. Stayner, Saskatoon; A. F. Halcrow, Penticton, B.C.; G. W. Johnson, 102 Beechwood Ave., Hamilton, Ont.; D. E. Noonan, 146 Willingdon Ave., Kingston, Ont.; J. P. Rainville, Montreal; and Flying Officers W. J. Banks, Leaside, Ont. and G. H. Farquharson, Corbyville, Ont.
W/C Johnson's score of two brought his total of enemy planes downed to 32, equaling the mark set by G/C A. G. (Sailor) Malan, a South African now on ground duty.
Among the R.C.A.F. fliers scoring probables were F/O A. C. Brandon, Timmins, Ont.; F/O J. B. O'Sullivan, Vancouver and P/O J. M. Flood, Hearst, Ont.

Nine Others Damaged
At least nine others wire damaged by fliers of the R.C.A.F.
Of the wings comprising G/C W. (Bill) MacBrien's R.C.A.F. sector, the one led by 22-year-old W/C George Keefer, D.F.C. and Bar, Charlottetown, was high scorer of the day with 13 confirmed victories. Johnson's wing was second with seven, in a close race with a unit led by W/C R. A. Buckham, Vancouver.
The margin for Keefer's wing was established in two dusk operations in which seven enemy planes were destroyed and two damaged. In the first action Hayward sighted more than 25 Nazi fighters and led his formation in pursuit. He damaged one.
Later the same Spitfires became embroiled with a dozen FW-190's, and Hayward got two of them. The first fell out of control, and the second burst into flames and crashed after Hayward had followed it down to tree-top height.
"The Huns were like bees,” said WO. Murray Havers, 1 Lloyd St., Hamilton. Ont. "They seemed confused and acted as though they did not know what they were doing."
The Canadian airmen said the Germans did not put up much of a fight despite their numerical advantage.
Other Canadians credited with kills during the day were F/O G. R. Stephen, Montreal; F/O Larry Robillard, Ottawa; F/O W. A. Gilbert, Dartmouth, N.S.; F/O Don Goodwin, Maynooth, Ont. and F/O Tommy Wheler, 10 Beauford Rd., Toronto.
F/O Klersy took a prominent part in athletics at St. Michael's College, playing hockey and rugby. He also rowed for his college, and was goalie for Ostrander's mercantile hockey team. Enlisting in June 1941, he took aircrew training in Toronto, Oshawa and Dunnville and after nearly a year with a fighter squadron at Bagotville, F/O Klersy went overseas in May 1942.
The 21-year-year old airman is the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Klersy, 14 Harcroft Rd.


Born in Toronto, 10 May 1921
Home in Corbeyville, Ontario
In Cadet Movement for five years
Enlisted in Toronto, 28 October 1940
Trained at
No.2 ITS (graduated 20 February 1941)
No.2 EFTS (graduated 22 April 1941) &
No.32 SFTS (graduated 17 July 1941)
Flight Sergeant on 1 February 1942
Warrant Officer on 1 August 1942
P/O 29 September 1942
F/O 1 January 1943
F/L 10 April 1944
Posted overseas in July 1941
Further trained at No.54 OTU
Posted to Malta, 3 May 1942
- via aircraft carrier fly-off on 9 May 1942
Assigned to No.126 Squadron
Returning to Britain, he was injured in a
- Liberator crash at Gibraltar, 31 Oct. 1942 *
Assigned to
No.61 OTU, 2 December 1942
No.416 Squadron, 10 September 1943
Repatriated to Canada, 29 September 1944 &
- after staff postings
(notably No.6 Repair Depot, January to May 1945)
He was released on 14 September 1945.

* Fighter pilots George Beurling, A.H. Donaldson, Farquharson, 'Ping' Powell and a few other passengers survived. "Hether" Hetherington and fellow Ace "Willie the Kid" Williams, along with Eddie Glazebrook and about 15 other passengers & crew died.



Ottawa, Aug. 28, 1944 - (CP) - Air force headquarters announced tonight 10 awards — three Distinguished Service Orders, four Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Distinguished Flying Medals — to members of the RCAF serving overseas.
The D.S.O. went to three officers who previously had received the D.F.C. They were honored for continuing to display exceptional skill, determination and devotion to duty. The awards:

S/L G. D. S. Koester, D.F.C., Guatemala.
S/L J. R. McDonald, D.F.C., Victoria.
F/L H. B. Hay, Edmundston, N.B.
S/L B. D. C. Patterson, Calgary.
F/L D. W. McGowan, Saskatoon.
F/L T. A. Brannagan, Windsor.
F/O G. H. Farquharson, Corbyville, Ont.
Sgt. D. C. Harkness, whose wife, Mrs. P. L. Harkness, lives at 400 Woodfield Rd., Toronto.
Sgt. D. R. McEvoy, Lindsay Ont., (reported missing June 16, 1944).
Sgt. D. J. Webb of Kelowna, B.C.


FARQUHARSON, F/O Gordon Henry Taylor (J15976) - DFC - No.416 Sq.
Award effective 21 August 1944 as per London Gazette dated 29 August 1944 &
AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944.

Flying Officer Farquharson is a keen and enthusiastic fighter pilot. He has led his flight on numerous occasions and has proved himself a good and capable leader. He has destroyed at least four enemy aircraft.


Victories Include :

15 June 1942
 6 July 1942

11 July 1942
13 July 1942
28 July 1942
27 Aug 1942
13 Oct 1942

14 Oct 1942
28 June 1944

one BR20
1/4 Z1007
1/4 Z1007
1/4 Z1007
one Re.2001
one Ju.88
1/5 Ju.88
one Bf.109
one Bf.109
one Ju.88
one Bf.109
one Bf.109
(actually a Ju.88)
(claimed as an MC.202)
(shared with four others)
(flying Spitfire BP992)
(seperate sorties)

3.2 / 2.25 / 3.5


JER McRae, HV West, GH Farquharson, JB Gould, HG McNab & DF Prentice




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