Father: Manoel Gonsalves da Silva, Mother: Helena [Ferreira]
3 sisters, 3 brothers; the family sailed to the UK in July 1919, when Francis was 4.
RAeC Certificate,12403, dated 16 Oct 1934, at London Aeroplane Club
Address in 1934: 25 Holmstall Ave, Burnt Oak, London
prev. Ground Engineer
Pilot Officer, RAF, from 25 Sep 1940; F/O from 25 Sep 1942; Sqn Ldr from 6 Jan 1945
DSO in 1945:
"This officer has operated with considerable success with bomber and fighter aircraft. On one occasion, while patrolling an enemy airfield, he attacked two Messerschmitt no's, destroyed one and damaged the other. In September, 1944, he was detailed to attack a certain objective. On reaching the target the port engine failed Height was rapidly lost but Squadron Leader Gonsalves refused to abandon his aircraft. When his height was only 1,000 feet he restarted the port engine and found that it was working sufficiently well to allow him to maintain height. In this condition he crossed the North Sea and executed a successful landing with only sufficient oil remaining for a few minutes flying. Squadron Leader Gonsalves displayed great skill and devotion to duty. " - London Gazette No. 36799, Dated 1944-11-17"
Wing Cmdr, 1946
m. 9 Oct 1948 in Seaford, East Sussex, Elizabeth [Simpson] (d. 1954)
"Plane skims children's playground
WHILE two airmen struggled to avoid crashing in Dukes' Meadows Chiswick W.. last night, children below swarmed on slides and swings and four men played bowls.
The plane, a two-engined [Airspeed] Consul, returning to Croydon from Southport. Lancs, had run out petrol. The radio-operator, Eric Astle of Shirley, Southampton, said afterwards: 'The pilot. Francis Gonsalves, had get down quick. He looked for a piece of open ground. We skimmed across allotments and crashed through railings. He did magnificent job to save lives'. The airmen were not seriously injured" - Daily Herald - 16 July 1949
Following this incident, he was prosecuted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for failing to ensure the plane had sufficient fuel. He pleaded guilty, and was fined £30 plus 5 guineas costs.
m. Jul 1954 in Chelsea, London, Jean M [Love]
Emigrated to Canada in 1957
Address in 1972: Cranmore Rd, Victoria BC. He is listed as a "Manager, Car Rental" and Jean as a Teacher
d. 18 Jan 1954 - Victoria, BC, Canada
Buried Royal Oak Burial Park Cemetery, Victoria, BC, Canada
* Personnel File Missing