Donald was born on the 13th April 1924 at Warrnambool in Victotia. He enlisted in the RAAF on the 20th June 1942 in Melbourne.
Donald was killed in his Spitfire A58-622 on the 4th October 1945. The Argus, a Melbourne daily newspaper at the time, reported the accident:
Pilot killed near his old school:
The Air Force pilot who was killed while flying a Spitfire over Geelong on Thursday was Flying Officer Donald C. Gordon, DFC, 21, of Cudgee. An Air Department statement issued yesterday said that during a training flight, his aircraft struck a low bank near the foreshore of Corio Bay, close to Geelong Grammar School, while the pilot was trying to pull the aircraft out of a dive. The Spitfire crashed on the playing-fields of the school, of which Gordon was an old boy.
The paper also recorded the story about his DFC:
A plane piloted by Flying Officer Donald Carlos Gordon, of Cudgee, was attacked four times by German fighters while over Stuttgart in July last year. His manouevres were so successful that his plane escaped unscathed, and his mission was accomplished. Award of the DFC to Flying Officer Gordon was announced yesterday by Mr Drakeford, Air Minister, together with awards to seven other RAAF men overseas – five DFCs and three DFMs.
During the War, Donald flew with 514 Squadron RAF, which was was formed at Foulsham, Norfolk, England, on the 1st September 1943, as a heavy-bomber squadron in No.3 Group. Beginning operations in November 1943 with Lancaster IIs, it gradually changed over to Lancaster Is and IIIs during the summer of 1944, and, in all, over a span of 18 months, flew 3,675 operational sorties with a loss of 66 aircraft. Its personnel won one DSO, 84 DFCs, one bar to the DFC, and 26 DFMs. Immediately before the German capitulation, the Squadron dropped food supplies to the starving Dutch people and, subsequently, its aircraft were busily employed on ferrying liberated POWs to England from France and Belgium.
Wikipedia has some other interesting facts about the Squadron:
In the course of its two-year operational life, 514 Squadron flew 3675 sorties on 218 bombing raids, in the course of which it dropped 14,650 tons of bombs. A further four mining operations were also undertaken, with 70 sea mines being dropped. 426 aircrew and nine ground crew lost their lives whilst serving with the squadron. 66 Lancasters were lost on operations with a further fourteen crashing either on ops or local flying.
When Donald flew Spitfire A58-622, it was located at No.1 AD (Aircraft Depot) having been repaired after another accident in the previous December. It is not know what Squadron Donald was assigned to at the time of his last flight, as Squadron 514 had been disbanded on the 22nd August 1945.
Donald is buried at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery, Plt D, Row A, Grave 13.
The Spitfire Association