WO Gordon 'Howie' Wing, Rear Gunner
Born 29 May 1922
'Howie' was a Warrant Officer rear gunner first on Stirlings and then Fortress's flying a total of 46 missions the last being on 31 December 1944. He later went on to be one of the two founder members of the Air Gunners Association.
Gordon (Howie) flew over 40 missions with 214 between 16 December 1943 and 31 December 1944. The first four missions being on Mk 3 Stirlings and the rest on Mk2 & 3 Flying Fortress
Following the war Gordon saw service first in the Kenyan Police in Africa where he flew another 2 unofficial missions with 214 who were stationed out there fighting the Mau Mau guerrillas, and following his return to the UK, served with the British Transport Police in London. Gordon was also one of the two founder members of the Air Gunners Association of which he was rightly very proud.
He was subsequently made a Freeman of the City of London.
During the summer of 2009 Gordon lost his beloved (third) wife Elizabeth which he understandably found very hard to deal with. He himself had suffered poor health over the last few years and sadly passed away in his own home on the evening of 29th October 2009. Gordon had no children of his own but always considered his second wife's daughter Marion as his own child. Both of them attended Gordon's funeral.
Simon Moxon sent this letter:
"Dear Air Commodore Jackson. (member of the local Royal Air Force Association.)
You very kindly sent the below reply to my colleague Tony Darragh concerning the funeral arrangements of my dear old friend Gordon Wing.
I thought I'd let you know that the ceremony, his ashes were interred in the family grave in Hampton, went very well.
It started off with a ceremony in the local church. The sermon was delivered by a minister who knew Gordon personally and who had also conducted Gordon's wife, Elizabeth's, funeral back in the Summer.
There then followed a graveside ceremony with the ashes in a nice oak urn were placed in Gordon's family grave along with his lucky mascot, a small stuffed toy which kept him safe on all his op's. I think it fitting as it accompanied him on his final mission to the heavens. We had a very good bugler from the RAF central band at Uxbridge who played the Last Post, a standard bearer from the R.A.F.A., a Flight Lieutenant from the Air Cadets where Gordon and his brothers both attended in the 1930's, myself and two other Police colleagues in uniform, one being our ceremonial standard bearer as Gordon was a Police Officer after the war.
It all went very well and I was so pleased that we marked his passing in such a way. His nephew from America, who is his closest living relative, was there and was impressed and very pleased with the turn out.
In February the RAF cadets at Feltham were going to dedicate one of their newly built rooms to Gordon's brother Clive who was lost on his second trip on Lancaster's, aged 18. I was going to accompany Gordon to that ceremony. It has now been decided to dedicate it to both Gordon and Clive and I will attend with others to remember them both. I think it is marvellous that these local men will be remembered in such a way."
Simon also wrote :
"I feel quite sure that he is up there now with rest of the boys, gathered around a piano, pints of beer overflowing in their hands, singing their hearts out and talking about their lives, their loves and of course their wartime experiences. God bless them all."
Source : Simon Moxon (friend of Gordon) and Rob Wing (nephew)
Date record last updated : 1 January 2010