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Gregory Augustus Daymond

Military

Born in Great Falls, Montana, in November 1920, Gregory soon became known as Gus, from his middle name Augustus. He grew up in California, and upon graduating from high school he worked in the motion picture industry in various positions. He took flying lessons on the side and qualified as a private pilot at the age of 16. When the war broke out in Europe he joined the RAF, went to an Operational Training Unit in England, and eventually was assigned to No. 71 Eagle Squadron.
While flying Hurricanes, he shot down his first Me-109 over France in July 1941. In the same month he shot down a second Me-109, followed by a Do-17 in August. In early September, flying a Spitfire, he shot down another Me-109, and later in the month he became an Ace by destroying his fifth enemy aircraft - another Me-109.
Gus was sent to the States in December on a lecture tour and returned to combat in June 1942. In August he was promoted to Commander of No. 71 Eagle squadron. In September 1942 the Eagle squadrons were transferred to the USAAF, where he received a commission as a Major. By then he had a record of seven enemy aircraft destroyed and was appointed Commander of 4th fighter Group, 334th Squadron.
Eventually he was returned to the States to develop a combat indoctrination programme for the USAAF. In November 1945 he left the service and and returned to the movie industry. He obtained a degree in Physics from Cal Tech and entered the aerospace industry, leaving in 1957 to join Interstate Electronics Corporation, from which he retired in 1987.

He became a Lt. Colonel in the USAAF Reserve. He had flown Hurricanes, Spitfires and P47's, and was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross with Bar by King George VI.

Service

Units served with

  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 334th Fighter Squadron was the successor to No. 71 Eagle squadron of the Royal Air Force when the 4th Fighter Group was activated on 12 September 1942. They were based at Debden Field, Essex. The "Fighting Eagles" as they were called, flew...

  • No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 19 September 1940, No. 71 was reformed at Church Fenton as the first 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American personnel. The Squadron received Hurricanes in November and became operational on defensive duties on 5 February 1941. No. 71 converted...

  • No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...

Aircraft

  • 41-6204

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    One-time personal aircraft of Capt. Richard D. McMinn. ...

  • AB811

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AB811 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • AB812

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AB812 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • V7619

    Hurricane
    Hawker Hurricane V7619 XR-F, assigned to 253 Sqn 7/40, transferred to 303 Sqn 8/40, transferred to 71 Eagle Sqn RAF, transferred to 55 OTU, crashed into a hill in bad weather near Hexham 26-4-41, SOC.

  • Z3185

    Hurricane
    Hawker Hurricane Z? XR-*. Assigned to 71 Eagle Sqn RAF. Bf109 Destroyed, Lille Ouest. 2-7-41. Pilot F/O Gregory Augustus Daymond.

  • Z3829

    Hurricane
    Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb Z3829. Assigned to 71 Eagle Sqn RAF. Bf109 Destroyed Lille Ouest. 6-7-41. Pilot F/O Gregory Augustus Daymond.

  • BM510

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BM510 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • BL583

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BL583 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

Associated Place

  • Bushey Hall

    Military site : non-airfield
    Requisitioned in 1942 and handed over to the Eighth Air Force later that year; USAAF used it as the Headquarters VIIIth Fighter Command due to its proximity to RAF Fighter Command headquarters at Bentley Priory. After the Berlin Airlift (1948-49) it...

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

Events

Event Location Date
Born Great Falls, MT, USA 25 November 1920

Born in Great Falls, Montana, in 25th November 1920.

Qualified private pilot 1936

Qualified as a private pilot at the age of 16.

Lived in Newport Beach, CA, USA 1940
Joined RAF England, UK 1940

Joined Royal Air Force.

Assigned England, UK 1940

Assigned to Operational Training Unit.

Assigned Kirton in Lindsey, Gainsborough, North Lincolnshire DN21, UK 8 October 1940

Assigned to No 71 Eagle Squadron RAF.

Made Ace France September 1941

Became an Ace by destroying his fifth enemy aircraft.
1 x Bf109 France July 1941.
1 x Bf109, 1 x DO-17 Aug 1941.
2 x Bf109 Sept 1941.

Awarded the British DFC and Bar Buckingham Palace Gardens, London SW1A 1AA, UK October 1941

Awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross by King George VI.

Stateside Tour United States December 1941 – June 1942

Sent to the States in December on a lecture tour and returned to combat in June 1942.

Promoted Kirton in Lindsey, Gainsborough, North Lincolnshire DN21, UK August 1942

In August he was promoted to Sqn Leader of No 71 Eagle RAF.

Awarded Bar to his British DFC Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 11 September 1942

Awarded Bar to the British Distinguished Flying Cross.

Transferred to USAAF Bushey Hall Drive, Bushey, Bushey, Hertfordshire WD23 2AX, UK 29 September 1942

September 1942 the Eagle squadrons were transferred to the USAAF, commissioned as a Major.

Assigned Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 29 September 1942

Appointed Commander of 4th fighter Group, 334th Squadron.

Returned Stateside United States 3 March 1943

Returned to the States to develop a combat indoctrination programme for the USAAF. 3 March 1943

Left USAAF sevice November 1945

November 1945, left service with USAAF and returned to the movie industry.

Died Newport Beach, CA, USA 16 December 1996

16 December 1996 Newport Beach, California, USA.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 November 2016 11:05:44 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2016 20:05:36 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

IWM Photo.
http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_da...
Aces High: A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the ..., Volume 2 By Christopher Shores, Clive Williams.
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35699/page/3962/data.pdf

Date Contributor Update
06 August 2015 12:10:09 Al_Skiff Changes to awards
Sources

IWM Photo.

Date Contributor Update
06 August 2015 12:09:00 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

IWM Photo.

Date Contributor Update
05 March 2015 20:54:15 apollo11 Changes to middlename, nickname, biography, awards, events and place associations
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:11:41 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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