Donald "Flash" Gordon

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Donald Gordon
Nickname(s) "Flash"
Born (1920-07-17)July 17, 1920
Garland, Kansas
Died January 4, 2010(2010-01-04) (aged 89)
La Jolla, California
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1942-1967
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross

Donald "Flash" Gordon (July 17, 1920 – January 4, 2010) was a United States air ace,[1] having shot down at least seven Japanese aircraft during World War II.[2] He was a fighter pilot in the United States Navy (USN) and a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.


Gordon's first recorded kill was during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Flying a Grumman F4F Wildcat and out of ammunition he flew straight towards a Nakajima B5N that had just launched a torpedo towards USS Enterprise, forcing it into the ocean. Enterprise, despite being damaged in earlier attacks, was able to dodge the torpedo. On January 30th 1943, again flying a Wildcat and heading the Enterprise fighter group, nicknamed the [[VF-10|'Grim Reapers]'], Gordon shot down at least two Mitsubishi G4Ms who were heading for Enterprise and the damaged cruiser USS Chicago. Although G4M torpedoes sunk Chicago, only two out of eleven G4Ms survived the encounter with the Grim Reapers, the rest were shot down.[3]


"I never had a dogfight. I usually got head on or tail on. They never saw us coming. That's the way to fight a war."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AG-10 History - Second Tour". Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Donald Gordon (obituary)". Fort Scott Tribune. January 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Battle 360: Bloody Santa Cruz, personal interview, circa 2008.