Battle of Britain London Monument – Sgt. A G Girdwood

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. A G Girdwood


Alexander George Girdwood joined the RAFVR about August 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot and did his pre-war flying at 12 E&RFTS at Prestwick.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his flying training at 10 FTS Ternhill on No. 16 Course which ran from 6th November 1939 to 11th May 1940.

He joined 257 Squadron when it was reformed at Hendon on 17th May. Girdwood, Sgt. RV Forward and Sgt. RHB Fraser were the first pilots to arrive there.



The squadron went through a working-up period and became operational on 1st July, flying from Northolt. On 5th August Girdwood was flying a Magister from Martlesham Heath back to Northolt when he became lost in haze. He made a forced-landing at Ramsey, Essex. He and his passenger, an engineering officer, were unhurt, though the aircraft was damaged.

On 13th August Girdwood shared in a Ju88 destroyed and on the 18th he shared in the destruction of a He111.

On this day he was shot down by a Me110 in combat over the Thames Estuary and baled out, wounded in the foot, and was admitted to Foulness Hospital, which appears to have been a temporary military hospital.

His Hurricane, P3708, crashed at Nazewick Farm, Foulness. Girdwood rejoined 257 on 16th September.

He was killed on 29th October 1940 when he was shot down in a low-level attack by Me109’s of LG2 as he was taking off from North Weald.

His Hurricane, V6852, crashed and burned out. He could not be rescued from the aircraft because of exploding ammunition and he burned to death in the cockpit.

Girdwood is buried in Hawkhead Cemetery Paisley, Renfrewshire.


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