Gordon Ross Coburn

Gunner Gordon Ross Coburn, B11855
Toronto, Ontario
Royal Canadian Artillery

Gunner Coburn is sponsored by L. Col. (ret’d) M.D. McKay, CD, ADC.
Gunner Coburn était parrainé par L. Col. (ret’d) M.D. McKay, CD, ADC.

Gordon Ross Coburn was a 23 year old soldier who died in the Second World War.  He was born on 14 October 1921 in Toronto, Ontario to Catherine Younger Coburn and Norman Victor Coburn. Gordon was never married and remained an only child throughout his life.  His hair was a dark brown color and he had greyish eyes.  He lived with his parents at 96 Blackthorne Avenue in Toronto, Ontario.  His religion was Presbyterian, though he has no symbol of religion on his headstone.  He enlisted with the Irish Regiment of Canada in July 1940 and then with the Canadian Active Service Force on 9 April 1941, remaining in that service until his death on 6 June 1944.   Before the war, he had a well-paying job as a sheet metal worker.  He served in the Royal Canadian Artillery as a Gunner in the 12th Field Regiment.   Almost three years after he signed up for the army, he was killed in action on Juno Beach during operation “Overlord” on 6 June 1944 in France.  That day would become more commonly known as D-Day.

In Gordon’s Certificate of Medical Examination, it is indicated that he had none of the diseases listed on the form.  Gordon enlisted in the military at the age of 19.  Several scars cover overtop of Gordon’s right eye, as well as a single scar located over his left eyebrow. Gordon was 5 feet 10 inches and weighed 147 pounds.  His eye sight and hearing were completely sound, earning scores of 20/20 for his eyesight and WV20 for his hearing.  Although Gordon’s hearing got a WV20 for both, his ears had a soft, but distinct systolic murmur (the blood pressure when heart is contracting), which was heard best during respiration but disappears in prone position.  His reflexes were normal.

Gordon Ross Coburn is taken on strength on 9 April 1941.  He applied in Toronto, Ontario for the Royal Canada Artillery (RCA) as a Gunner.  On 6 May 1941, he is transferred to the 12th Field Regiment in Sussex, New Brunswick and on 7 May 1941, he leaves Toronto for Camp Sussex.  After his transfer to Camp Sussex, he is posted to the 11th Field Battery on 16 June 1941.  Five days later, Gordon Ross Coburn is sent to Camp Tracadle on 21 June 1941 for training purposes.  He returns to Camp Sussex on 4 July 1941.  Two days later, he is granted embarkation leave for two weeks.  After his return on 19 July 1941, he is told that he will be leaving Canada and going overseas.  On 30 July 1941, he arrives overseas in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  A little over a month after his arrival, on 9 September 1941, Gordon is admitted to an unknown Hospital.  Four days after his arrival (13 September 1941) he was discharged and able to left the hospital.  On 3 December 1941, he is granted privilege leave with a warrant until 10 December 1941.  Gordon is granted leave again from 31 March to 4 April 1942.  He failed to return on time, and for four days and eight hours, Gordon Ross Coburn was MIA. He finally returned on 8 April 1942.  For his absence, he was forfeited one week of pay.  Gordon is qualified for Group “C” on 10 November 1942.  After almost two months, he is granted Trades Pay at $1.75.  Through 16 January 1943 to 25 January 1943, Gordon is granted privilege leave.  Gordon had temporarily left the Royal Canadian Artillery to serve with the Signals Corps, but he returned to the 12th Field Regiment, RCA, on 15 June 1943.  On 28 October 1943, Gordon qualifies as a driver.  Seven months later, on 3 June 1944, Gordon departed the United Kingdom for France.  He landed on the beaches of Normandy and was killed in action on 6 June 1944.

After Gordon Ross Coburn’s death, all of his medals are sent to his mother, Mrs. Catherine Younger Coburn.  Catherine was given Gordon’s 1939-45 Star (awarded after soldier has given after six months of duty), France-Germany Star (awarded if a soldier had given service in D-Day or the few days following), Defense Medal (awarded between September 3rd, 1939, to May 8th, 1945 for six months of service in Great Britain), War Medal (awarded if soldier worked full time for 28 days in the armed forces and merchant marines), and Canadian Volunteer Service Metal with Clasp (awarded to any soldier that volunteered in World War II for eighteen months).  Gordon Ross Coburn did not leave a will, so his next of kin, his mother, signed for all of his belongings.  He is buried at a cemetery called Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery located in France, which is only four kilometers from Juno Beach.  Gordon’s grave reference is Grave II, Row F, and Plot II.

 

Written by: Josh Vincent, a student at the Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.

Rédigé par: Josh Vincent,  un élève de Smiths Falls Collegiate Institute, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.

REMEMBER TODAY, REMEMBER ALWAYS.

THIS TRIBUTE PROFILE CONTAINS AVAILABLE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE CANADIANS WHO DIED ON JUNO BEACH ON 6 JUNE 1944. THE PROFILE ALSO RECOGNIZES THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION WHO GENEROUSLY SPONSORED THIS SOLDIER, AND INCLUDES A MESSAGE OF THANKS AND REMEMBRANCE FOR THEIR SACRIFICE. THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE SOLDIER’S NATIVE TONGUE AND HAS BEEN COMPILED BY THE LEST WE FORGET PROGRAM AND, IN SOME CASES, THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE SOLDIERS. DUE TO THE INCONSISTENCY OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND THE SPARSE AVAILABILITY OF FIRST-HAND WITNESSES, WE KNOW MORE ABOUT SOME THAN OTHERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE ANY MATERIAL OR HELP IN OUR EFFORTS TO PRESENT THE BIOGRAPHIES IN BOTH FRENCH AND ENGLISH, PLEASE CONTACT: JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.

CE PORTRAIT CONTIENT DES INFORMATIONS BIOGRAPHIQUES RELATIVES À L’UN DES CANADIENS QUI SONT MORTS SUR LA PLAGE JUNO, LE 6 JUIN 1944. IL PORTE ÉGALEMENT MENTION DE LA PERSONNE OU DE L’ORGANISATION QUI A GÉNÉREUSEMENT PARRAINÉ CE SOLDAT, AINSI QU’UN MESSAGE DE REMERCIEMENT EN SOUVENIR DE SON SACRIFICE. CES INFORMATIONS SONT DISPONIBLES DANS LA LANGUE MATERNELLE DU SOLDAT ET ONT ÉTÉ COMPILÉES PAR LE PROGRAMME LEST WE FORGET ET, DANS CERTAINS CAS, GRÂCE À LA GÉNÉROSITÉ DES PERSONNES LIÉES AUX SOLDATS. EN RAISON DE LA DISPARITÉ DES DOCUMENTS HISTORIQUES ET DES RARES TÉMOINS DE L’ÉPOQUE, NOUS NE DISPOSONS PAS DE LA MÊME QUANTITÉ D’INFORMATION SUR TOUS LES SOLDATS. SI VOUS SOUHAITEZ COMPLÉTER NOTRE DOCUMENTATION OU NOUS AIDER DANS NOS EFFORTS POUR PRÉSENTER LES BIOGRAPHIES EN FRANÇAIS ET EN ANGLAIS, MERCI DE CONTACTER : JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.