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Old 10th August 2005, 14:07
en830's Avatar
en830 en830 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Jersey
Posts: 52
Sqn Ldr Henri "Moustique" Gonay (Belgian) Memorial

After a false start due to officialdom back in 2003/4 I am looking to erect a memorial to Sqn Ldr Henri "Moustique" Gonay of 263 Sqn, on or close to the spot of his death in June 1944.

Attached is a brief outline of his history taken and slighty amend from the 350 Sqn website

I would appreciate any info on any of the Squadrons mentioned, especially the Belgian units.

If all things go according to plan, I would hope to have the memorail unveiled on 15 September 2006

Henry Gonay was born at Theux, Belgium on 21 July 1913. He entered the Aéronautique Militaire Belge in 1931. Accepted into the 67° promotion, promoted to corporal on 24 Mai 1933 and posted to the 2nd Regiment de Chasse at Schaffen (Diest) The unit was equipped with the Fairey Firefly. Exceptional pilot, he's transferred as instructor to the Flying School at Wevelghem in November 1938. Gonay the was transferred as Adjudant to the 3rd escadrille Deurne (Antwerp). When the Germans invaded Belgium, his unit left the country after three days and went to Tours (France) and later on to Bordeaux.

After the capitulation of France, Gonay, Phillipart, Dieu and Buchin deserted and went to the UK on board a ship called the "Queen Emma" where they arrived on 23 June 1940.

He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve and he was commissioned P/O. Converted on Blenheim at the 5 OTU, and posted to 235 Sqn, Coastal Command, at Bircham Newton. Flying on Blenheim IVF, he obtained a victory on 8 October 1940, shooting down a He-60.

On 23 October , he's transferred to the French-Belgian Flying School at Odiham, as instructor. After the closure of this school, he converted to Spitfire at the 58 OTU, to Promoted F/O, he's joined 123 Sqn at Drem. From there he moved to 64 Sqn and then 131 Sqn, where he became commander of Flight "B". He transferred to the newly formed 350 (Belgian) Sqn, in command of "A" - Flight. He joined 232 Sqn on April 17, 1942. Promoted S/L on August 31, 1942, took command of 129 Sqn. After having joined the Central Gunnery School, he converted to Hawker Typhoon's and took command of 263 Sqn on February 24, 1944. On June 14, 1944, leading a formation of 8 Typhoon's, which included the venerable Pinkie Stark (609 Sqn), his plane was hit by flak whilst attacking 2 armed coastal vessels near Corbier Light House Jersey. Gonay was killed in the ensuing force landing in a field on the northern part of the Island. A DFC was awarded on July 2, 1944.
Thanks for your help Ian

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