Service number 90188.
Patrick Gifford was educated at Melrose, Sedburgh and Edinburgh University where he studdies law. He became a qualified solicitor, working with the family firm, Procurator Fiscal, Depute Clerk of the Peace, Secretary of the local National Farmers Union and member of the town council. He was also an all round sportsman involved in tennis, cricket and rugby also an excellent skier and rifle shot and he was well known for driving high speed sports cars between Castle Douglas and Edinburgh. He joined 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron Auxiliary Air Force based at RAF Turnhouse, now Edinburgh Airport, where he gained his wings in 1932.
He was credited with shooting down the first German plane over Britain on 16th October 1939 while flying his Mark 1 Spitfire from RAF Turnhouse and was awarded the DFC for this and a later combat. He was shot down and killed (although his body was not recovered) on 16th May 1940 over Flanders in his Hurricane.
On May 16th, 2010, 70 years after he was killed in action, a memorial was unveiled in Castle Douglas in honour of Patrick Gifford for becoming the first pilot to successfully target an enemy bomber in British airspace in the Second World War. His logbook is on display in the Scottish United Services Museum in Edinburgh.
June 30th, 1931: Pilot Officer
December 30th, 1932: Flying Officer
April 1st, 1938: Flight Lieutenant
January 1st, 1940: Squadron Leader
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