John Gordon Patterson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on January 3, 1918 in Washington. His father was born in North Dakota and his mother was born in Sweden. His father worked as a railway clerk. Gordon had one younger brother who served in the Army Air Forces during WW2 and the Korean War.
I don't know when John enlisted in the army but he served in the Army Air Forces and was trained to fly as a fighter pilot. He became a 1st lieutenant in the 33rd Pursuit Squadron, 2nd Airbase Group. This unit was sent to Iceland to provide defense for Iceland, freeing up an RAF squadron to return to Britain.
On April 17, 1942 Lt. Patterson was killed flying a P-40 Warhawk that crashed to the ground five miles west of Hafnarhordur, Iceland. Patterson Field in Iceland, which became operational in September 1942, was most likely named after him.
His grave is at Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane, Washington. His brother died in 2015 at the age of 95.
Last year on this date I profiled Thurman Beaver who served in Italy and Vernon Walters who went on to serve as Ronald Reagan's UN Ambassador. You can read their stories here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100