Flying Officer John Charles Gilbert 90327
John Gilbert, son of Harold and Emma Gilbert of Smethwick, Staffordshire, joined 609 (West Riding) Squadron in 1937. He completed flying training and was promoted to Flying Officer in May 1939 and took part in all the squadron’s deployments and engagements in the first few months of the Second World War.
Whilst flying Spitfire Mk.I L1081 over Dunkirk on 31 May 1940 escorting Defiants, he was shot down by a German fighter and crashed into the English Channel. He was never recovered so is still officially listed as ‘Missing in Action’. He was 27 years of age.