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Flt.Lt John Brown.

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Flt.Lt John Brown.

Old 13th Mar 2021, 08:19
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Flt.Lt John Brown.

Just in case anyone remembers him, my old friend J.B. passed away yesterday aged 89. No Squadron details, but I know he flew Meteor 8s at Tangmere, also N.F. 11's, and Javelins. He then went to Transport Command flying Brittanias, and on retiring flew British Aerospace's H.S.125, for the firm. Married to the lovely Sheila.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 23:03
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John Brown 99 Sqn early 1970s

If this was the John Brown on 99 Sqn, I was his co on a flight in a Brit from Masirah to Gan one night. John as I recall, had done a fair portion of an RAF sponsored Russian language course but although either chopped or given up on it I can't recall. Nevertheless he knew a fair bit of Russian. After about an hour we were passing abeam Socotra where I believe the Russians had a base. On 121.5 John heard Russian being spoken so, putting down his pipe, he called them on the R/T saying ,"Good Evening Gentlemen", in Russian. A conversation followed in which they asked him if he had ever been to Khormaksar, Aden, to which John of course replied, "Yes indeed." The Russian who it turned out, was actually now based in Aden and also had a sense of humour, responded by saying," We now realise why the Brits left Aden. Good night and a Happy New Year ." It was the evening of New Years Day in 1973.
Later that night John wanted 40 winks so he put his seat back, unplugged his headset and closed his eyes, whilst still keeping his pipe in his mouth. After a while the Flt Eng tapped me on the shoulder and muttered quietly off intercom, the fact that No3 engine oil pressure was falling albeit very slowly. I whispered back that we would keep an eye on it for another few minutes and mentally prepare to shut it down, whereupon John, in the left-hand seat, whom we had assumed was now asleep, re-plugged his headset. Taking his pipe out of his mouth, he simply said, over the intercom, "Shut it down Eng" and then unplugged his headset, put his pipe back in his mouth and closed his eyes again. - How cool was that?
John was a lovely man to fly with and as I recall was not the tallest man in the world. Nevertheless he was a giant of a man in personality, humour, humility and consideration for others. He showed no disdain for young first tour cos like myself and was one of the nicest men I have ever met. - Not a bad pilot either. RIP John.

Last edited by Jetset 88; 13th Mar 2021 at 23:08. Reason: grammar and omissions
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 06:10
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Jetset. Thankyou for taking the trouble to reply. Not the same man. J.B that I knew was short, fairly round and a non-smoker I don't want to bother his wife at the moment, but I may have Squadron details later. Thanks anyway.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 12:54
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JEM 360 Thanks for your reply. 48 yrs later I may have mistaken the pipe bit but I'm sure it was he who had a wife Sheila. I certainly flew with a John Brown in Britannia XM 497 on 1st January 1973.
We had spent the previous night's New Years Eve on a Shell oil tanker that was moored at Masirah, refuelling the base's tanks. We had met the crew in the Masirah Mess and they then invited us out to the ship for a New Years Eve tipple. The skipper and two others had their wives with them on board.
In those days New Year's Day wasn't a public holiday in the UK as it is now. At midnight the ship's 'Sparks' Radio Officer suggested we send a telex back to the Squadron in UK. The following morning OC 99 Sqn received a message which read:
" From: MV British Osprey, Indian Ocean.
To: 99Sqn Operations, copy OC 99
Happy New Year from Crew of Ascot 6302 + Audrey, Susan and Dianne. "

A perplexed OC 99 back at Brize wondered what on earth one of his crews was doing in the Indian Ocean with 3 ladies. It was even suggested later we were all in dinghy ! Not true.

Nevertheless whoever your John Brown was, please pass on my condolences to the wife Sheila wife at this sad time for her.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 20:57
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Jetset. Thankyou for your kind reply. I confess I mis-read your comments as him being a tall man, but your further description fits him to a T. My wife and I knew him socially [we met at a swimming pool when I was a lowly PPL], and he was a friend for 35 years. Never lost his sense of humour and fun, despite his last year being difficult. I will pass on your comments to Sheila in due course. Thankyou for your kind remarks, she will be appreciative of them, as are Teresa and I. Best wishes.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 23:03
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Jetset88. With some bemusement, apologies for the thread drift, and deference to John Brown, I cannot resist pointing out that the British Osprey was in fact a BP tanker, not Shell. I know this because I was a deckhand/helmsman on the British Osprey, a bit before the quoted time. My time on the British Osprey paid for my PPL, from which I went on to a long career as an airman.

Last edited by pterosaur; 14th Mar 2021 at 23:21.
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 10:22
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Jetset. I have spoken to Sheila this morning. You are correct about the pipe, so we have the right J.B. I have forwarded your remarks, and she was very touched by them. For the record and for the information of others,, his Squadrons were 256 at Aarlhorn, 29 at Tangmere, 511? at Brize Norton and Lyneham and, of course, 99 on Britannias. Kind regards.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 07:38
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I did my ATPL ground school at the City of London Poly with John; he would blag us into a very smart Yacht Club in St Katherine's Dock for lunch ('reciprocal members through the Padstow Rowing Association'). His tales of keeping at least two out of four engines lit at any one time over the Indian Ocean enthralled the class way more than the lecturers could.... Met up a few time afterwards but this business separates people like almost no other. He and Sheila both genuine and entertaining people, a combination of qualities not often encountered.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 10:54
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Was John Brown involved in the Aden incident as the Captain of that Brit was a Russian speaker? I was on 99 Sqn from 1966 to 1973 and can't place him in my old mind.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 16:13
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Indeed he was. Please refer to first post from Jetset88. I was never in the R.A.F myself, but met him and Sheila socially for many years. He was a great raconteur.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 18:51
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Thanks, I remember him now.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 19:16
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Originally Posted by JEM60 View Post
Indeed he was. Please refer to first post from Jetset88. I was never in the R.A.F myself, but met him and Sheila socially for many years. He was a great raconteur.
I am sorry, but the timing seems all wrong. The Aden incident was in 1967 and the Captain left 99 Sqn soon after the accident.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 20:39
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I can't throw light on this at the mo. Il shan't be seeing anyone connected to him until the funeral. I don't recall him ever saying anything to me about an Aden accident.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 21:54
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147R. Many thanks for your kind remarks. I spoke to Sheila today, and she was very appreciative of them. BRAKEDWELL. John's widow confirms that there were, in fact, two Browns on 99 Squadron. Hence the confusion, I guess. Kind regards.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 22:28
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Thank you very much.
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 10:56
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Pterosaur
Sorry if I confused Shell with BP.... I was under the impression that way back in 1973 they were the same corporate company. Apologies for my error nearly 50 years later.
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 11:15
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Brakedwell; The Aden crash was before my time - (You did my very first flight on a 99 Brit in 1971 and I was later your air-display co).
Googling the Khormaksar incident I read:
Britannia Crash at Aden 12 October 1967 XL 638
After touchdown at Aden-Khormaksar Airport, the four engine airplane encountered difficulties to stop within the remaining distance and overran. It lost its undercarriage and came to rest in shallow water. There were no casualties but the aircraft was written off.
Probable cause: Failure of the reverse systems after touchdown for undetermined reason.
It was XL638's (named Sirius) nose cone which eventually became a training aid at 241 OCU at Brize after the move from Lyneham.
Rgds

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Old 6th Apr 2021, 15:39
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Jetset 88. I went into Aden in a Brit a few days after the incident and saw the sad site after the rockapes had blown off the tailfin, which I understand Lyneham had wanted as a spare!
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Old 8th Apr 2021, 05:51
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JETSET 88. Just to tell you that your very kind remarks were read out by the Celebrant at John's funeral on Tuesday, to the great pleasure of everyone. Kind regard, and thank you.
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