Do not have any official loss details on this pilot.
Flight Sergeant Ernest William Gimson (541685) DFM & Bar †
On this day there were 46 Commonwealth Air Force Deaths.
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This bio from: Who will tell their stories?
From: Italian biplane fighter aces - Roberto Steppi
During the afternoon on 25 June 1941, 69 Squadron's long-range Hurricane II reported sighting four 20,000 ton merchant ships with an escort of seven destroyers, to the south-east of Malta. At this time the Italians had just started using four 20,000 ton liners - Marco Polo, Neptunia, Oceania and Vulcania - to transport troops to Libya to relieve forward elements of the Afrika Korps. On receipt of the news of the sighting, a Maryland was sent off to shadow, with Flying Officer Bloxham at the controls and carrying Lieutenant H. E. H. Pain, Senior Observer from 830 Squadron, whilst a strike by Swordfish was planned and organized. But first all available Marylands were armed with two 500lb. bombs apiece, and were sent out to attack. From this unsuccessful mission, AR726 flown by 21-year-old Sergeant Brian Paul Hanson (RAF no. 758061) of 69 Squadron and his crew of 25-year-old Flight Sergeant Ernest William Gimson (RAF no. 541685) and Flight Sergeant Montague Harry Slade Bolton (RAF no. 565469) failed to return, last being heard on the R/T announcing they were bombing the ships.
It seems very probable that they were shot down by a MC.200 of the 84a Squadriglia flown by Sergente Roberto Steppi. He and Alessando Valignani had taken off to escort the convoy but were unable to find them. They separated to widen their search and Steppi found the convoy just as it was attacked by three Blenheims. He attacked them, claimed one of them shot down in flames, and a second damaged.
He returned and landed when it was almost dark.
Steppi ended the war with 3 shared biplane victories and a total of 2.
Gimson_EW Memorial.jpg 69.13K
2008_062010003 [1600x1200].JPG 135.02K
Ernest William Gimson was born on 20 Dec 1916 at home at Claremont, 44 London Road in Sawston, Cambridge, England during World War 1. He was the first born child of Ernest Reynolds Gimson and Gladys Hilda Wakefield. Their next child, Roy Gimson, only lived a day. Over the next few years, three girls completed this tight knit family.
[FONT="]Ernest William Gimson, 541685, Flight Sergeant, D.F.M. and Bar, Royal Air Force, 69 Squadron, died 26th June 1941, aged 25 years. Son of Ernest R. and Gladys H. Gimson, of Pendle Hill, New South Wales, Australia.[/FONT]
In February, 1927, when Ernest (Ernie) was 11 years old, their family immigrated to Australia. They sailed there on the S.S. Berrima and landed in Fremantle. After World War 1, the Australian government looked to Great Britain for immigrants and encouraged those willing to consider resettlement in Australia by offering them assisted passage. Additionally, British immigrants were also eligible to receive land grants and encouraged to settled in rural areas. Their family settled in Babakin, Western Australia as his father purchased land with a store and a home on it.
Everyone in the family helped with the store and Ernie was a great help to his father in running a grocery story and maintain a farm in Western Australia. At 19 years of age, he joined the Royal Air Force in England in 1935 and was just finishing his education when World War II broke out.
Even though Ernie was away from home, he would always remember his sisters and mother at Christmas time and send them jewelry from England. Once World War II started in 1939 he was only able to continue that tradition for a couple more years. While in the Air Force he developed a love for soccer and was able to stay in touch and visit the many relatives still living in England.
Unfortunately, Ernie was reported missing off the coast of Sicily on 25th June, 1941. The family was notified by letter which stated they were part of an attack on a ship and the plane that Ernie was in didn't return from the raid. Various reports state there was a flash from the ship that may have hit the plane causing it to crash. The end result is that he was never seen again and presumed to have met with disaster. To this day he is still listed as "Missing in Action". In the News & Reviews, Cambridge, Sawston 1940-45 Newspaper Cuttings, the following statements were made:
[FONT="]"29th October 1940 Gallant Sawston Man. A bar to his D.F.M. has been awarded to Sergeant [/FONT][FONT="]Ernest Gimson of 107 Squadron RAF. Sert. Gimson was born at Sawston, but his home is [/FONT][FONT="]at[/FONT][FONT="] Babakin Western Australia. Before joining the RAF he was a shop keeper’s assistant. He was [/FONT][FONT="]awarded his DFM in February of this year in Air Operations.”[/FONT]
[FONT="] The Malta Family History has a "Commonwealth Air Force Memorial" on their website dedicated to the airmen of the Commonwealth who died during World War II in the Mediterranean area but have no known grave. Their entry states:[/FONT]
[FONT="]The actual Malta Memorial is situated in the area of Floriana and is easily identified by the Golden Eagle which surmounts the column and stands outside the main entrance to Valletta. Ther memorial honors almost 2,300 airmen who lost their lives during this war. He was a member of the 69th squardron whose motto is "With Vigilance We Serve", this he did with his life for his country.[/FONT]
[FONT="]Those who knew him miss him and those who have come to know of him also wish they could have enjoyed the company of Ernest William Gimson, a hero to his family, friends and his country.[/FONT]
In Memory of
20th February, 1940.
ROYAL AIR FORCE.
His Majesty has also been graciously pleased to approve the following awards: —
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.
541685 Aircraftman 1st class Ernest William GIMSON.
The above appointments and awards are for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations.
22nd November, 1940.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following appointment and .awards:—
ROYAL AIR FORCE.
Awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Medal.
541685 Sergeant Ernest William GIMSON, D.F.M., No. 107 Squadron.
The above awards are for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations.
Ernest William Gimson
D F M and Bar
541685, 69 Sqdn., Royal Air Force
who died on 26 June 1941 Age 25
Son of Ernest Reynolds Gimson and Gladys Hilda Gimson, of Pendle Hill, New South Wales, Australia.
Remembered with Honour
Edited by spidge, 12 July 2012 - 02:06 PM.
My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.