Scotty Wilson was born on June 3, 1940, in Evanston, Illinois. He entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1958, and was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the Air Force on June 6, 1962. Lt Wilson next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Williams AFB, Arizona, in October 1963, followed by F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training from November 1963 to January 1964, having been promoted to 1st Lt during this time. His first assignment was as an F-4C pilot with the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron at MacDill AFB, Florida, from January 1964 to May 1965, and then as an F-4C pilot with the 16th and the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadrons at Eglin AFB, Florida, from June 1965 to June 1966. His final assignment was as an F-4C pilot with the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam, from June 1966 until he was killed in action after his aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile north of Hanoi on November 22, 1966. After ejecting, he was killed from fragments from a second surface-to-air missile that detonated right where his chute opened. Lt Wilson was officially listed as Missing in Action and was promoted through the ranks to Major before being declared Killed in Action on February 4, 1974. His remains were returned to the United States on April 10, 1986, and he was buried at the U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 22, 1986; 20 years to the day after he was killed in action. His eulogy at the U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel was given by his back-seater on the flight he was shot down on, former POW Joe Crecca, who ejected successfully. A Missing Man formation of F-4's was scheduled for the graveside service, but was prevented from performing due to a low overcast and snow.
His Distinguished Flying Cross w/Valor Citation reads:
First Lieutenant Gordon S. Wilson distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as an Aircraft Commander near Bac Ninh, North Vietnam on 18 September 1966. On that date, while flying as number two in a flight of four F-4C's on a combat support mission, Lieutenant Wilson was instrumental in the total destruction of a heavy anti-aircraft artillery complex. To accomplish this, Lieutenant Wilson had to brave extremely heavy target defenses including at least five surface-to-air missiles. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Wilson reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.