The Rotary Club of Sleaford

JOHN ‘JOCK’ BROWN, DFC

16 May 1920 ~ 16 Dec 2015

Rtn, Acting Wg Cdr John ‘Jock’ Brown DFC, RAF was a stalwart member of the Rotary Club of Sleaford where he served as President in 1986-87.  

As a member of Glasgow’s University Air Squadron he was called up by the RAF at the beginning of WWII. After initial training, he converted onto Bristol Blenheims at RAF Wittering, Lincolnshire, to join No 23 Fighter Squadron which was flying night interception missions during the Battle of Britain. When the Luftwaffe changed to its bombing campaign of cities, Jock flew night interception sorties over Southern England and ‘Intruder’ missions against enemy aircraft and airfields on the Continent. 

23 Sqn was soon re-equipped with American Douglas Havocs , Bostons and then the love of Jock’s life, the de Havilland Mosquito. Promoted by this time to Sqn Ldr, Jock was selected to help train the crews on No 418 (RCAF) Sqn which was also equipped with Mosquitos. In 1942 he then wangled a return to 23 Sqn which had been posted to RAF Luqa in Malta, from where Jock saw action against enemy shipping in the Mediterranean, against targets in North Africa and Italy, and where he also flew air superiority missions over the Allied invasion of Sicily. When Italy capitulated, he chased the retreating Germans as far as Naples.  

Jock was then awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for ‘his devotion to duty while flying in active operations against the enemy’. It was also noted that he had well exceeded the permissible number of offensive combat missions flown and was posted back to the UK. As war ended, Jock was offered the opportunity to become the CO of the RAF’s first ‘all-jet’ squadron.

Newly married and looking forward to raising a family, Jock decided to leave the RAF and return to university to finish his degree in agriculture. This eventually led him to be appointed as Director of Personnel for Padley's of Anwick, a post he held for 25 years.