A trainee RAF pilot has organised a flypast for the funeral of his great uncle; Warrant Officer John Robert “Bob” Brown, a 103-year-old RAF veteran who flew Wellingtons during World War Two
The Bomber Command and IX(B) Squadron veteran was laid to rest on Monday 27th February in Teesside surrounded by family, friends and representatives of the RAF.
A Typhoon from IX(B) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth conducted the flypast during a training sortie, as a tribute to one of their own.
It is a great privilege as a IX(B) Squadron pilot to honour one of our former pilots and Second World War hero in this way.
Typhoon flypast pilot
Bob Brown joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve just after the start of World War Two. He completed his pilot training on Tiger Moths and Avro Ansons, before being posted to IX(B) Squadron at RAF Honington to fly Wellington bombers.
On only his second operational mission, his aircraft was hit by enemy fire over Germany and crashed. Only Bob, then a Sergeant, and the Rear Gunner, Sergeant Edwin Collins, survived. Whilst trying to evade the enemy, he was captured and taken prisoner.
Bob was held in various prisoner of war camps for more than four years. Whilst imprisoned, he was promoted twice to become a Warrant Officer. The camp was liberated at the end of the War and he was flown home to RAF Cosford carrying only two bags, one of which was half full of cigarettes.
He remained proud of his RAF service and would proudly recite the two mottos which meant the most to him: IX(B) Squadron’s motto - “Per noctem volamus” - we fly by night - and the RAF’s motto - “Per ardua ad astra” - through adversity to the stars.
He was an honorary member of the IX(B) Squadron association and frequently attended Remembrance events, even into his centenary years. He took great pride that his great nephew was following in his footsteps over 80 years on.
I am exceptionally proud of my great uncle Bob. I am about to start my training on the Texan aircraft and following training, I hope to fly Typhoons on IX(B) Squadron to continue his legacy.
Warrant Officer Bob Brown's Great Nephew