Private Gordon Asa Milburn

Gordon was born on November 10, 1919, in Chatham Township.  He was one of nine children having two sisters and six brothers, growing up in a very busy household and learning about responsibility at an early age.  Gordon was 20 years old when World War 2 began and the recruiting campaign was in full motion with the promise of full-time employment, world travel and adventure.  This appealed to Gordon, he was young and fit and wanting to serve his country.  He enlisted in the military and completed his basic training in hope of getting overseas to see some action. It wasn’t long before Gordon heard about the Paratroops looking for only the best candidates.  Gordon was eager for the challenge and requested a transfer.   

Gordon successfully completed the battery of physical, aptitude and psychological testing criteria and was accepted to be sent to the Parachute School in Ringway, England.  He proudly graduated on October 18, 1943, joining the ranks of the elite 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.  Gordon would remain in England to train with the 6th Airborne Division for the next seven months in preparation for the invasion of France, also known as D-day.  Gordon was part of C Coy when he parachuted into Normandy on June 6, 1944. He and his comrades would successfully complete all their objectives for the mission assigned.  He would later return to England to begin preparing for the next mission. The next mission was Operation Varsity, however instead of parachuting, Gordon was part of the reinforcements who arrived by sea. Gordon would once again complete the daring mission successfully. The war was finally over and Gordon returned to England and back to his civilian life, settling in Windsor, Ontario. 

Gordon was ambitious and took on several employment opportunities, he worked at the post office, he was a business owner of a housing improvement firm in the Detroit area.  He was also a realtor in the Windsor area.  Gordon met a girl named Charlene and they exchanged vows and began their life together. They had two daughters named Debra and Patricia. Gordon passed away on February 22, 2010, surrounded by his family.  If you have read this biography, then you have kept the memory of Gordon Asa Milburn alive. 

Pte. Milburn when he enlisted in the military.
Pte. Milburn with other Battalion members.
Gordon MILBURN2 2
Studio portrait of Pte. Milburn as a paratrooper.

Sten MkV Submachine Gun

Private Milburn would have carried a Sten Submachine gun similar to the one shown in the photographs below.  The Sten submachine gun can be found in several models, the one pictured here is a Sten MKV, produced for the Paratroopers. It chambered a 9mm cartridge with a firing rate of 550 rounds per minute and an effective range of 100 yards. Also shown is a magazine pouch or bandolier that allowed a soldier to carry an additional 30 round magazines.