In 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, VC, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar (1918 – 1944) became the most highly decorated serviceman in Britain. He lead the famous Dam Busters raid in Germany and, in all, completed over 170 World War II operations. He died at aged 26. A remarkable man. And we are told that he loved his cat who he called ‘Windy’ (flatulence?).
There is little on this and I found it hard to verify. It seems that the information was disseminated in Dr Desmond Morris’s excellent book Cat World.
In the book there is a short reference to Windy:
“Pet Cat. Wing Commander Guy Gibson, V.C., the famous dam buster of World War II, was often accompanied on his dangerous wartime missions by his pet cat Windy, ‘an all-swimming and all-flying cat’ who ‘put in more flying hours than most cats’.”
Desmond Morris quotes an unknown source and author. That quote is probably from the originating publication of this story.
It does conjure up a remarkable, and I have to confess unlikely image in one’s mind, of a domestic cat wandering around a Lancaster bomber with flak going off all around. Hardly a good idea from the cat’s perspective. It seems implausible but there it is.
If true, one of the great heroes of World War II must have loved cats. Great.
P.S. There is no picture of Windy unfortunately. Guy Gibson had a pet dog who often accompanied him on training flights we also told. Did someone get mixed up between cats and dogs?
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