James Gardner Struthers 1885 1979

James Gardner Struthers 1885 1979

Birth 1885 (Cert downloaded) STRUTHERS JAMES GARDNER M 1885 646/1 718 Plantation
Death 1979 - STRUTHERS JAMES GARDNER 93 GARDNER 1979 527/ 4 Ardmaddy Kilbrandon and Kilchattan

London Gazette 22 Feb 1918
To receive a Bar to the Distinguished Service Cross
Flt - Cdr James Gardner STruthers, DSC, RNAS
To receive a Second Bar to the Distinguished Service Cross
Flt - Cdr James Gardner STruthers, DSC, RNAS


Oct 2018

The heroic exploits of an ace airman from Argyll are celebrated in a new exhibition at Helensburgh Library.
Airship captain Major James Gardner Struthers flew more hours than any other airship pilot during the First World War and his missions earned him the Distinguished Service Cross with two bars.
The exhibition tells how airships were used in the First World War.
Their strategic deployment prevented loss of life on allied ships, as they tracked down and attacked enemy submarines.
Major Struthers’ report on how airships could be used as submarine hunters was published by the RAF in 1918.
However, his recommendations were never fully acknowledged and there are letters dating from the Second World War stating that if they had been implemented, operations would have been better and more effective.
Major Struthers was stationed at various airfields around the UK, most significantly at Mullion in Cornwall, where he was mentioned in dispatches and where he earned his Distinguished Service Cross with two bars which were for missions with the Royal Naval Air Service, which amalgamated with the British Army’s Royal Flying Corps to become the RAF in 1918.
He was then posted to Malta to set up airship stations there.
He was aged 52 by the time the Second World War broke out, so Major Struthers was too old to serve, but he was in the Royal Observer Corps when his patch stretched from Machrihanish to Sutherland.
Originally from Bonawe, where the family was in the quarry business, he bought Ardmaddy Castle by Oban in the 1960s. The castle is still owned by the Struthers family.
The collection includes a dummy shell, gas goggles, badges and medals, a uniform and original airship banners and propellers, collated over a year by Eleanor McKay, the bibliographic and local studies librarian at Argyll Live, after chats with Major Struthers’ son Charles.
Air Ace of Argyll, Airships in the Great War and the story of Major JG Struthers runs at Helensburgh Library until October 27.

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