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Paul and Leonard Gordy collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 15.0031

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of published material, newspaper clippings, interviews, and published unit histories, collected by the Gordy brothers about their wartime experience. Both brothers served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and as POWs in German camps.


  • Creation: 1946-2012
  • Other: Date acquired: 07/23/2015
  • Other: Date accessioned: 2020-06-08


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Paul Gordy was born April 15, 1922, in Cusseta, GA, to Curt and Verna Gordy. In 1925, his family moved to Florida and settled in Gainesville, FL. Gordy graduated high school and then began college at the University of Florida. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Force where he was trained as a B-17 Pilot, eventually rising to the rank of second lieutenant in the 8th Air Force with the 384th Heavy Bombardment Group based in England. In July 1943, Paul Gordy was shot down and incarcerated while returning from a mission over Kiel, Germany, ending up in the North Sea in a raft with other US Airmen. Eventually, Paul was Incarcerated by the Germans and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan, Germany. This POW camp was made famous in the movie "The Great Escape." 

Paul returned to the US in 1945 and entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He boxed in the bantam weight division while at UNC and graduated in 1947. After graduating, Gordy moved to Chipley in 1948 where he met his wife, Ann Sheppard, and the couple had two kids. Paul and his brother Leonard owned Gordy Milling Company for many years and eventually combined with the Dixie Lily Company. Paul also worked as a salesman for McCormick & Company and was named Salesman of the Year by the company in 1973. Mr. Gordy was involved in the Chipley First United Methodist Church and volunteered with the Panhandle Area Education Consortium where he collected oral histories of veterans. He was known as the "Voice of the Tigers" to many, announcing CHS Tiger football games from 1951 to 1991. Gordy passed on February 7, 2016.

Marion Leonard Gordy was born May 23, 1917 in Cusseta, GA to Curtis Lowe and Verna Gordy. The family moved to Gainesville, FL, in 1925, where he eventually graduated from Gainesville High School. Gordy served in the United States Army Air Corp during WWII as a bombardier with the 94th Bomb Group. His plane was shot down over Germany and he was Incarcerated in May 1944, and interred in the same prison camp as his brother at Stalag LUFT III. He was a former owner of The Gordy Milling Company, then Gordy Transport trucking company, and currently the Gordy Apartment Buildings on NW 15th Street in Gainesville. Mr. Gordy was past president of the University City Lions Club, and the Santa Fe Endowment Corporation. He was also a former board member of Santa Fe College, and a member of the Has-Beens Club. He was married to Molly Gordy, and the couple had three daughters. Gordy passed on December 3, 2012.

Both brothers were held at Stalag Luft III, making the brothers the only sibling Floridians both to be shot down and incarcerated by the Germans.


1 Linear Feet (2 half boxes)

1 folders

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Paul Gordy. The collection was acquired by the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience on July 23, 2015.

Paul and Leonard Gordy collection
Mallory McGovern
June 8, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US