Sergeant James Victor Gardiner RAFVR 656465 was the only son of Mr and Mrs John Gardiner, The Crescent, Luncarty. He was 23 years old, formerly a pupil at Perth Academy and was studying in London when World War Two broke out.
James served for a year with the South Wales Borderers before transferring to the RAF and obtained his pilots certificate in December of 1941. He was training on 9 March 1942 with RAF 15 OTU (Operational Training Unit) RAF Hampstead Norris, south of Oxford when he was killed in an aircraft accident.
Vickers Wellington Mk IA DV576 was on a night training flight which failed to gain sufficient height on take-off with 15% degrees of flap. It hit trees, after failing to avoid a slight hill one mile from the end of the runway.
The crew killed were:
Sergeant Dennis Albert Flemming RAFVR 1212046, Pilot, age 20
Sergeant James Victor Gardiner RAFVR 656465, Pilot, age 23
Sergeant Harold Medley RAFVR 1113468, Wireless Operator, age 28
Sergeant P K Briggs,
Sergeant J A Saunders,
Sergeant C Hirst.
James Victor Gardiner is buried in Kirkhill Cemetery, Luncarty.
Research by Ken Bruce
RAF Hampstead Norris was bombed on 16 September 1940 by the Luftwaffe during the battle of Britain, 3 bombs fell on the runways.
On 4 March 1941, a Vickers Wellington bomber was attacked by a German fighter aircraft as it approached to land on the airfield.
On 12 May 1941, the airfield was gain attacked, 10 High Explosive and 100 Incendiary bombs destroyed some aircraft and damaged the flare path and southern runway.