Name:  Gilroy, George Kemp (Service number: 90481)
Date of birth: June 1st, 1914 (Edinburgh/City of Edinburgh, Great Britain)
Nationality:  British
Before the war George Gilroy had been a shepherd, and was known in the RAF as ‘Sheep’. Gilroy joined the Auxiliary Air Force before the
war, and was commissioned in No. 603 Squadron in November 1938.
He was first in action on 28th October 1939 when he shared a He111 with five other pilots. By the end of July 1940 he had assisted in bringing down five German bomber s of various types.
On September 1st, he baled out of a burning aircraft and was nearly lynched by the local Home Guard before he was taken to hospital, slightly injured. On July 19th 1941 he was posted to command 609 Squadron. In November 1942 he was posted to 325 Wing in East Africa, but the following month was posted to lead 324 Wing in North Africa on the Tunisian front. He rapidly gained several victories. He continued to ead the Wing during the invasions in Sicily and southern Italy, remaining until November 1943, by which time his tour ended and his total score was 21 at least, and had been wounded three times. He was promoted to Group Captain and returned to the United Kingdom, becoming commanding officer of Wittering, and later, Blakelow. He left the RAF at the end of the war and rejoined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, returning to 603 Squadron as Commanding Officer and also returned to sheep farming in Scotland.

3 september 1940: Flying Officer
3 september 1941: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
23 december 1942: Squadron Leader (war sub)
19 januari 1944: Wing Commander (war sub)
1944: Group Captain
Rank: Pilot Officer
Unit: Royal Air Force
Awarded on: September 1940
Rank: Flying Officer
Unit: Royal Air Force
Awarded on: January 1st, 1941
Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Unit: Royal Air Force
Awarded on: March 3rd, 1942
Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Unit: No. 609 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: June 23rd, 1942
Action: Citation:
"Since this officer was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in July, 1940, he has destroyed an additional 7 enemy aircraft and damaged a further 2, making a total of 10 destroyed and 4 damaged. Under his command his squadron has met with considerable success in the destruction of enemy aircraft. He is a first class fighter pilot and an excellent leader."
Details: Second DFC awarded as a bar to be worn on the ribbon of the first DFC.
Rank: Acting Squadron. Leader
Unit: Royal Air Force
Awarded on: March 2nd, 1943
Rank: Group Captain
Unit: Royal Air Force
Awarded on: November 14th, 1944
  Provide alterations or additional information
Information source(s):   - SHORES, CH. & WILLIAMS, C., Aces High, Grub Street, London, 1994.
- The London Gazette Issue 34945 published on the 13 September 1940
- Supplement To The London Gazette Issue 35029 published on the 31 December 1940
- Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35475 published on the 27 February 1942
- Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35605 published on the 19 June 1942
- Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35923 published on the 26 February 1943
- Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36793 published on the 10 November 1944
- A. Price, Spitfire Mark V Aces 1941-45, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1 85532635 3
- 609 (WR) Squadron Association
This website is an initiative of STIWOT. All rights reserved © 2002-2017. Privacy statement, cookies, disclaimer and copyright.
Other projects of STIWOT are:,,, STIWOT Forum, STIWOT Reizen and
Webhosting by Vevida.