Private Gordon Reid (14410593) served in 7th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps during the Second World War. He was the youngest son of John Reid and Elizabeth Reid of Coagh Street, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.
He died on 7th July 1944 aged 20 years old. Ahead of D-Day, 6th June 1944, Reid parachuted into Normandy with 6th Airborne Division. The mission was to secure the village of Benouville and the area around Ranville.
Reid had previously parachuted into France on a joint operation with the Special Air Service. Leading the SAS unit was Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Mayne. Five other Ulster men also made the drop including Pat Garstain and James Thomas “Tot” Barker. After a successful mission, Cookstown man Barker needed hauling on board the plane by Mayne under heavy enemy fire.
Gordon Reid’s grave is in Section IIIA, Row E, Grave 3 of Ranville War Cemetery, Ranville, Normandy, France. His name is on a memorial at Molesworth Presbyterian Church, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. His headstone bears the inscription:
Gone to his heavenly home of rest. We miss him most who loved him best.