Oxenham, Lieutenant Gordon Vincent

No 1 Sqn AFC

Gordon Oxenham came from Randwick, NSW. He was born on 26 March 1893 and was a Grazier, with a years experience as a Lieutenant in the AMF, when he joined the AIF at The Show Ground Camp in Sydney on 15 March 1916. He was initially posted to a Depot Battalion at Bathurst, and then passed through various training units, included officer training at Duntroon, before transferring to the AFC as a Second Lieutenant in June 1917 – he had learned to fly in the 2nd Course at the NSW School of Aviation at Richmond. He left Melbourne on HMAT A26 Suevic on 21 June. After further training in England and Egypt he was posted to No 67 (Australian) Sqn in Egypt on 25 April 1918, where he was promoted to Lieutenant in the next month.

On 4 May, flying in Bristol F2B B1225, with Lt H A Letch as observer, he was involved in a patrol with Capt A R Brown and Lt G Finlay that saw them bring down an enemy two-seater at Suweile and then shoot it up on the ground.

He was killed in action on 27 June 1918 while flying Bristol F2B A7236 with Lt L H Smith, who was taken Prisoner of War. The airmen were escorting Capt Brown and Lt Finlay in Bristol B1149 on a reconnaissance mission over Kutrani when they became involved in combat with two German AEG C-types. Capt Brown shot down one of the enemy and Lt Oxenham forced the other to land, only to be killed by ground fire while flying over his victim. Lt Smith was able to write a letter to his squadron, describing the fight, which a German aeroplane dropped behind the Allied lines. Lt Oxenham was buried at Kutrani, but the location of his burial was subsequently lost.

Lt G V Oxenham has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 60 of the Jerusalem Memorial, Palestine.

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