Fairey Gordon

Fairey Gordons began to arrive on 207 at Bircham Newton in September 1932. It was essentially a Fairey IIIF with a radial 525hp Armstrong Siddeley Panther IIa engine in place of the IIIF's slightly higher powered Napier Lion. Some were converted from IIIFs and some were new production.Serials of those used by 207 are listed below.

The photograph was provided by Michael Thornton-Jones. It shows 35 Sqn and 207 Sqn Gordons evidently on some important occasion, though there seems to be some uncertainty as to location - Hendon, Eastchurch, Bircham Newton are possibilities though the latter on the occasion of a visit by King George V and Queen Mary in May 1934 might be unlikely as the photo includes K1758 which crash landed 14.7.33.

Can anyone make out and interpret the shapes formed by men drawn up inside the circle of aircaft?

The Fairey Gordon MkI was in service with 207 Squadron September 1932-April 1935 and August 1936-August 1937.

Please click this image for a much larger version on which many of the serial numbers can be read.
for a larger version please click on the image: some restoration has been done to remove fold marks
35 Sqn machines are to the left, 207 Sqn's to the right. Some are listed below.

Converted from Fairey IIIF

Serial No. - Code - Fate [those in italics are in photo]

J9073 B3 Became instructional airframe 693M
J9136 A1
J9154 To A&AEE
JR9643 Crashed nr. Gebeit, Sudan, 27.1.36
J9647 C3
J9651 To 2 ASU
J9674 B4 To HQ Central Area
J9784 To 2 ASU
JR9804 To 4 ASU
K1161 A4 To 8 ATC
K1164 C4 SOC 7.8.36
K1167 B2 Became instructional airframe 869M
K1170 A3 SOC 28.8.35
K1699 A3 SOC 7.8.36
K1756 C2 Became instructional airframe 711M
K1757 C1 To Station Flight Eastchurch
K1758 A4 Hit drogue during air-to-air firing practice and crash-landed, 14.7.33
K1763 SOC 29.8.35
K1765 To 2 ASU
K1771 To 2 ASU

source: Always Prepared, Hamlin 1999,
with some additions based on photo

New production

Serial No. - Code - Fate [those in italics are in photo]

K2614 Became instructional airframe 1516M
K2626 To 35 Sqn.
K2628 To 3 ATC
K2641 Became instructional airframe 1523M
K2649 A3 To 35 Sqn.
K2691 A4/BI To AAS
K2692 Flew into ground in fog nr. Docking 29.11.32
K2693 Became instructional airframe 1515M
K2695 A2 SOC 7.8.36
K2696 Became instructional airframe 1512M
K2697 C3 Became instructional airframe 1105M
K2698 To 102 MU
K2707 A4
K2713 B1
K2714 C4 Became instructional airframe 1518M
K2721 Became instructional airframe 1521M
K2729 To 25 Sqn.
K2731 To 8 FTS
K2732 Became instructional airframe
K2733 To 35 Sqn.
K2734 To 47 Sqn.
K2749 A1
K2751 Became instructional airframe 1519M
K2753 ?A2 Stalled off turn on approach to Aqiq and crashed 2.3.36
K2761 To 35 Sqn
K2763 To 1 ATC
K2764 V To 47 Sqn
K2767 To AOS
K2769 Became instructional airframe 1510M
S1202 A2

Michael Thornton-Jones says his grandmother's second husband was Flt Lt Cecil H Harrison and that his parents were friends of Air Commodore AD Pryor. He describes the image as a rare personal picture of 207 Squadron Gordons at Eastchurch. A Flt Lt AD Pryor is mentioned twice in the History: (p25) in 1921 when he was pilot for Tedder acting as a bomb aimer in a bombing demonstration; (p29) in 1924 again in relation to bombing trials against naval targets, though in both cases the aircraft type was the DH9A.

The loss of Fairey Gordon Mk.I K2692 29-NOV-1932
"Flying Officer Mervyn Francis Douglas Williams, and Aircraftman George William Wells, of the R.A.F were injured, Tuesday, the latter seriously, when their machine, with three others, made a forced landing at Docking Norfolk. 3 others made good landings, one dangerously near sea at Hunstanton. 4 machines were attached Bircham Newton Norfolk were practicing bombing when they were suddenly enveloped in thick fog" Source Shepton Mallet Journal - Friday 02 December 1932

The crew were:

Source: Paul Macmillan, citing an RAF Commands forum entry

this page last updated 10 Oct 2019

Fairey Gordon - Wikipedia page