Gordon Bellman was a six year combat aviator and commander with the RAF [Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force] and the AAF [United States Army Air Forces]. A Newark Evening News article on September 13, 1945, reported he “joined the Board of Directors of Veterans’ Airline…as operations director of the new company.”
The journalist also mentioned Gordon logged “3,500 flying hours as an Army pilot.”
Since Bellman was not the subject of the 1945 Newark Evening News coverage, space did not allow justice to his military service. But there had been an earlier Newark Evening News piece on 10 January 1944 when he was on furlough. That article (printed here), chronicles Gordon’s surprise Stateside visit with his dad, Peter J. Bellman, plus covers his WWII service.
During that seven year “military missions” absence, a partial accounting includes Battles of Dunkirk, Britain and Singapore; service in Arabia, India and China; 6-month Japanese imprisonment from which he escaped; and the Distinguished Flying Medal and Northwest Frontier Medal.
Royal Air Force and Army Air Forces??
The “3,500 flying hours as an Army pilot” deserves elaboration. Gordon was born 7/17/1920 and a native of Wimbledon, England. He was brought to the United States at the age of 6. Thus he was eligible to fly for the RAF sooner than the AAF. However, according to the same Newark Evening News January 1944 article [Source also for the above “partial accounting” of his service], Gordon enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Forces – as a Private! He was discharged as Sergeant Bellman.
Reinforcements for already exemplary Vets
His next “battle?” Peacetime endeavors to help found and direct Veterans Air Express and Veterans Air Line. Another of Saunie’s exemplary Veterans.