Gardner, Edward Charles James

Date of birth:
August 24th, 1924 (Newmarket/Suffolk, Great Britain)
Date of death:
May 3rd, 2010 (London, Great Britain)
Service number:
1891821
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

During World War II, Gardner served in the Royal Air Force as an air gunner with No. 10 Squadron. He completed 30 sorties as a Halifax rear gunner
After the war he became an actor, appearing in over 30 films and also made extensive TV and theatre appearances.
Gardner played Knight Bus driver Ernie Prang in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third film in the Harry Potter film series.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
No. 10 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
October 17th, 1944
Action:
Recommendation:
"Sgt Gardner was posted to 10 Squadron in November, 1943, and after completing 30 sorties comprising 163 operational hours has been screened and posted for instructional duties. This NCO was the rear gunner of a Halifax aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on December 19, 1943. The aircraft was severely damaged by flak, No 3 tank being holed and the starboard outer engine damaged, necessitating feathering. In addition there were 30 holes in the aircraft.

During a sortie on Leipzig on February 19, 1944, the aircraft in which he was the rear gunner was attacked before reaching the target by a Me109 and a Me110 and three Ju88s. Sgt Gardner co-operated magnificently with the mid-upper gunner in passing accurate evasive information to his captain and simultaneously got in accurate bursts of fire on enemy aircraft.

One engine of a Ju88 caught fire and, although the Halifax was damaged, his skilful directions and accurate fire played a good part in frustrating the attacks and enabled his captain to return safely to base.

While attacking Ottignies on April 20, 1944, three separate attacks on his aircraft were made by an Me109 and two Ju88s. Sgt Gardner, in co-operation with the mid-upper gunner, returned the enemyís fire and a Ju88 was claimed as damaged.

This NCO has proved himself to be a first class air gunner and stalwart member of a gallant crew. I strongly recommend that Sgt. Gardnerís determination, fine fighting spirit and strong sense of duty be recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal."
Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)

Sources