J. E. Gasson

Name: John "Johnny" Gasson

Born: 17 February 1924

Joined 92:  10 June 1943

Left 92:  27 June 1943

O.C. 92: 7 October 1944

Left 92: 14 July 1945

DFC:  28 June 1944

DSO: 24 March 1945

Bar to DFC:  12 June 1945

Died         May 2012

Major John Edward Gasson (279804 V) DSO, DFC and Bar 

 

 

Some dates from the S.A.A.F. Record.

Date of birth 17/2 24

Joined the South African Air Force 8/8/1941

Placed on the special reserve of Officer Pilots 2nd Lieutenant 19/12/1942

Left for the Middle East 1/2/1943

Served with 92 Squadron RAF 10/6/43 to 27/6/43 

Promoted to Lieutenant 19/6/1943

Promoted to Captain 14/4/1944

Returned to South Africa 30/6/1944

Left for the Middle East 7/9/1944

From Middle East to Italy  6/10/1944

Promoted to Major 7/10/1944

Officer Commanding 92 squadron RAF 7/10/44 to 14/7/45 

From Italy to Middle East 24/7/1945

Returned to South Africa 13/9/1945

Released from duty 4/11/1945

 

Re-enlisted to join the "Victory Contingent" to London from 8/5/1946 to 23/6/1946

 

Enlisted in the South African Airforce Special Reserves with the rank of Captain from 1/7/1947

 

Appointed as Flight Commander, No 17 Squadron Cape Town 1/7/1947

Appointed commanding Officer No.27 Squadron 15/12/1950 to 28/2/1951.

 

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The KING has been graciously pleased to approve

the following awards in recognition of gallantry and

devotion to duty in the execution of air operations: —

 

 

Captain John Edward GASSON (2784V), South African Air Force, No. 92 Squadron.

 

This officer has participated in very many sorties. He is a most inspiring leader, whose fine fighting spirit and great courage have contributed materially to the high morale of his flight. During a recent sortie, Captain Gascon single-handed,

engaged a number of enemy aircraft, four of which were hit and damaged by his bullets. When approaching an enemy airfield, in pursuit of another of the fighters, Captain Gasson sighted an enemy aircraft coming in to land. He promptly opened fire with his machine guns and whilst taking evading action, the enemy aircraft

crashed. Captain Gasson has destroyed at' least 3 hostile aircraft.

 

The London Gazette of Tuesday 23rd June 1944

 

 

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Air Ministry, 16th March, 1945.

 

Distinguished Service Order.

 

 

Major John Edward GASSON, D.F.C. (2798O4V),

S.A.A.F., 92 Sqn.

 

Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has participated in a large number of varied sorties. On several occasions towards the end of 1944, he led formations of aircraft in attacks against enemy strong points with excellent results. 

 

On one occasion in December 1944, Major Gasson came down to a very low

level, alone, to locate an enemy gun position. Although considerable fire was directed at his aircraft, he rejoined his flight which he led into the

-attack and all three .guns were destroyed. On two other occasions, Major Gasson led his flight with great skill in close support of operations by our ground forces. 

 

This officer has displayed exceptional gallantry and determination in the execution

of his attacks on the enemy. Much of the success of the squadron can be attributed) to his undoubted ability.

 

The London Gazette of Tuesday 13th March 1945

 

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Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross.

Major John Edward GASSON, D.S.O., D.F.C. (279804V), S.A.A.F., 92. Sqn.

 

This officer has displayed the highest 'standard of devotion to duty in air operations. In April 1945, he led a formation of aircraft detailed to attack a target in the battle area. In spite of heavy cloud conditions the target was located and

a successful attack was made. Afterwards, Major Gasson reconnoitred, enemy positions in the forward area along the Sillarp river. As a result of his brilliant work several strong points were relentlessly attacked. A self-propelled gun was knocked out, two heavy tanks were destroyed and several more put out of action. Consequently, our ground forces were enabled to push forward and establish

themselves across the river barrier. In this notable sortie Major Gasson displayed skill, courage and determination of the highest standard.

 

The London Gazette of Friday 8th June 1945

 

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Gasson was demobilised in November 1945, but enlisted in the South African Air Force Special Reserves in 1947 as a captain. In 1947 he was appointed as flight commander of No 17 Squadron Cape Town and then commanding officer of No 27 Squadron in 1950.

 

After the war, he settled in Cape Town, where he became a distinguished surgeon, gaining his FRCS in 1954. He is believed to have died in May 2012.

 

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