51167 Flight Lieutenant
AYTON, GORDON FREDERICK DFC
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
45 Group RAF Transport Command
Date of Death:28 June 1945
Son of Frederick and Gertrude Mary Ayton, of 3 Northgate, Dereham; husband of Irene Constance Ayton (nee Steer). His brother Wallace Henry
also died on service. EAST DEREHAM CEMETERY
After attending Crown Road School, East Dereham, Gordon Ayton joined the RAF at age 15 and trained as a Wireless Operator / Gunner at Cranwell. Later he re-trained as a pilot and was commissioned whilst serving with 37 Squadron in the Middle East. On his return to UK he flew Mosquitoes on daring low-level raids on German HQ buildings.
What a tradegy that "Ginger" Ayton was killed in a flying accident after the end of hostilities in Europe. He was delivering Mosquito Mark FB26 KA317 from Canada and having gone off course attempted a forced landing in Galway, Ireland. As can be seen from the citation to his DFC Ayton had completed three bomber tours, against all the odds. He was due for promotion to Squadron Leader three weeks after his death.
"This officer, who is now on his third operational tour, has completed a very large number of sorties. During his first tour of duty he was engaged as a wireless operator (air) on bombing missions to Germany. Later he became a pilot in the Middle East, making numerous attacks on airfields, shipping and enemy troops. During his present tour of duty, Flying Officer Ayton has delivered a number of effective attacks on enemy airfields in France which have resulted in several enemy aircraft being destroyed on the ground. During his present tour Flying Officer Ayton has destroyed at least one enemy aircraft in combat and damaged others."