33 Squadron is extremely proud of its heritage, so it was honoured to recently host the family of Sergeant John Brodie Thomas Hall. Penny and Ellie, John’s daughter and granddaughter, were hosted by current 33 Squadron pilot, Flight Lieutenant Mullins, and the 33 Squadron Association Chairman, Mr Stewart, sharing their own memories whilst being shown the Squadron archives. This included finding undiscovered pieces of John’s history in the Squadron Operational Record Books.
John was a Hurricane pilot, serving with 33 Squadron in North Africa when his aircraft was shot down by a Messerschmitt 109 in 1942. His leg was shattered by the blast but he successfully bailed out and parachuted to safety. However, he landed behind enemy lines. However due to the severity of his injury, his leg was amputated whilst being held as a Prisoner of War.
John’s family had been informed that he had been killed in action but his mother was convinced he was alive. This was confirmed when she received a Red Cross Prisoner of War postcard saying “Dear Folks, all is well, just a little short in the left leg. Love John”. Eventually John was repatriated to the UK and was even able to convince the Air Ministry to allow him to return to flying duties. He commissioned and flew Spitfires and Hurricanes until the end of the war. His prosthetic ‘tin’ foot was secured in a stirrup-like pedal attached to the rudder!