Robert Seath Gurd R219163

October 30, 1922 - April 17, 1992

Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd Robert Seath Gurd

440 Squadron

Robert Seath Gurd came from a family of physicians. His father was Dr. Charles Cowan Gurd who was the son of Charles C. Gurd, the founder and owner of the “Charles Gurd & Co.” of Aerated Waters in Montreal. Joseph Gurd, the great grandfather, immigrated from Ireland in the mid-1800’s to Montreal. See: “The Gurds, the Montreal General and McGill: A Family Saga” by David N. Gurd.

Robert Seath Gurd attended New Jersey Burlington City High School 1939 and then went on to McGill University prior to enlisting in the R.C.A.F. While with the BAFO he attended courses in Denmark.

R219163 Sgt. Robert Seath GURD was part of the McGill University COTC program. Included promotion to WO2 He went to No. 5 Manning Depot in Lachine and by March 21, 1944, he graduated No. 2 SFTS Uplands. He first appears on 440 Sqn flight logs on 10 April 1945. He flew 16 combat ops between the 10th and the 20th of April 1945.

Robert S. Gurd was noted as a pilot with 438 Squadron, according to Hugh Halliday's Typhoon and Tempest. On May 29, 1945, he flew Typhoon MN325 and crashed at B-166, Flensburg. He was recorded as safe. However, Gurd was with 440 Squadron -- he was ferrying a Typhoon from Airfield B-150 to B-166 when he crashed; the 1180 flying accident card had inaccurately recorded information. Typhoon F3P (MN325) was a 438 aircraft. F3P was repaired and sent to 263 RAF Squadron.

Form 1180 Flying Accident Card reconciliation: 29.5.45 at 1400 HRS, Ferry flight of Typhoon 1b MN325 by F/S R.S. Gurd R.219163. Unit: 438 Sqdn. 83 Grp. 2nd TAF. Location: Flensburg, Germany. Unit 438 Squadron was located at B.166 Flensburg, Germany. From the 440 Squadron Operations Record Book [AIR-27-1880-29] for 29.5.45: 440 Sq 29.5.45 B.150, Celle, Germany. “Word came through that the aircraft were to move to B.166 this afternoon and so the morning was spent by the pilots and ground crews preparing the aircraft for the trip. The Squadron flew to Flensburg in two sections of eight aircraft the first taking off at 1410 hours and led by F/L Villiers. F/L Clifford led the remaining eight which took off ten minutes later. The aerodrome was found to be very satisfactory and a good flight building occupied in front of the aircraft dispersal. In the evening the pilots personal kit arrived from Celle and was unloaded and the quarters cleaned and tidied up.” Based upon Gurd’s Logbook and 440 Squadron O.R.B., F/S R.S. Gurd force-landed Typhoon 1b MN325 [F3-P] as part of 440 Squadron’s move from B.150, Celle, Germany to B.166, Flensburg, Germany as a result of a failed fuel-pump. Unclear as to why the Form 1180 Flying Accident Card highlighted the Typhoon 1b as belonging to 438 Squadron.

F/S R.S. Gurd’s 18 combat operations between 8-April-1945 and 20-April-1945 based upon Operations Record Book Form 541 for April 1945 [AIR 27-1880-28] & Canadian Héritage (RG24-E-7) are located on Microfilm Reel Number – C-12318 Images: 1000 – 1017].

Thank you to John B. for the crash cards! (January 2022) "I too had checked 438/439/440's ORBs and found nothing with respect to Gurd in any of the Squadron's diaries on/around the day of the incident. That does not mean that it didn't take place within the Squadron, just that it wasn't noteworthy for the Squadron diarist to record. This was often the case once Squadrons reached the Continent; minor incidents were not mentioned in favour of operational summaries. What does make it questionable, and I agree with Frank on this, is Gurd's apparent lack of mention within 438's ORB at all. This certainly raises the spectre of him being from a Ferry Pilots Pool (FPP) and that he was simply delivering an aircraft to 438 Squadron. The accident card would have erroneously recorded Gurd being from 438 Squadron when in fact he may have been from any of a number of the FPPs. I know that some of the FPPs kept diaries which are available in the National Archives. I might try and see whether I can find the appropriate documents for my next visit there! The other way of confirming/resolving this would be via the aircraft movement cards (Form 78). Assuming these were correctly filled-out (not always), they should record the aircraft's last movement and from where. The Form 78 cards are available from the RAF Museum in Hendon. I have been trying to get a copy of these from the Museum, but they have been rather tardy doing so."

British Air Force of Occupation (B.A.F.O.) in Germany: 443 Sq ORB AIR 27-1883-33 11.9.45 R219163 W/O R.S. Gurd joined the squadron today. (flying the Spitfire XVI). 443 Sq ORB AIR 27-1883-33 (Sept/45) “Replacement pilots posting in were … R.219163 W/O R.S Gurd and W/O M.W. Richman R.198461.” 443 Sq ORB AIR 27-1883-33 (Dec/45) “R.219163 W/O R.S. Gurd … were posted on repatriation to Canada during the month of December.” WO R.S. Gurd flew 37 missions with No. 443 Sq from 9-Oct-1945 to 18-Dec-1945 based upon his pilot logbook [courtesy Preston Gurd] all in the Spitfire XVI aircraft from B.174 Airfield Uetersen, Germany.

Repatriation to Canada: [Courtesy of A.E. Ferrey: Bob Gurd left after Allan and arrived before he did. Bob Gurd was on the Ile de France which took 5 days to cross the Atlantic. A.E. Ferrey was on the Scythia which took 13 days in crossing.]

Thank you to Preston Gurd and Chris Wolfe for the additional information as of March 2024.


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