Gordon was very proud of his four children and their families: Marilynn and Frank Borowicz (Vancouver, BC), Mel and Debbie Smith (Edmonton, AB), Terry and Renate Smith (St. Petersburg, FL), Connie and John Baechler (Vancouver, BC). He is survived by 11 Grandchildren and 13 Great-grandchildren.
Gordon was born in Gloucester, England. He was the last son of 9 children and came to Canada with his family as a young boy, where they homesteaded in the Alliance/Forestburg area of Alberta.
In 1940, Gordon enlisted in the RCAF. He served in Europe as a navigator on Lancaster Bombers and flew 32 Missions in WWII.
During one nighttime mission over Germany, his B25 took heavy flak fire that destroyed its navigation equipment. Despite being seriously wounded, Gordon manually navigated the plane back to England by using a large hole in the fuselage to see the stars. His brave acumen saved the crew of 6, and Gordon was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his heroism.
After returning home, Gordon continued flying with the 418 Squadron, often doing Search and Rescue for lost planes in Northern Alberta and the NWT. He completed his distinguished career by serving as the Head of Air Traffic Control at the Edmonton International Airport (YEG), where he trained many new air traffic controllers.
A long time Edmonton Eskimos Season Ticket holder, Gordon regularly attended games, including one for which he clandestinely borrowed a military aircraft to take 20 of his closest friends to Winnipeg for the Western Final. (Eskimos won!)
Gordon’s passion for sports was highlighted by a lifelong interest in horses which he inhered from his father and passed on to his children.
He retired in 1978 and lived his life on his own terms until age 99, when he was fortunate to move to the outstanding Kipnes Center for Veterans, where he received excellent care and love and was honored with the respect all veterans deserve.
At age 101, Bomber Boy, Flight Lieutenant Gordon Smith, DFC, 418 Squadron No 6 RCAF, flew his last mission peacefully to the heavens.
At Gordon’s request no service will be held.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Kipnes Centre for Veterans or the charity of your choice.