BROWN – Peter

Flight Sergeant – Lancaster – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

[Source: CG]

Knows Harry McCalla – who was featured in The Eighth Passenger by Miles Tripp

[Source: AE]

Passed away in London, UK with no known next of kin in 2022:

Name: Peter Brown
Date of birth: 22nd August 1926
Place of birth: Jamaica
Date of death: 17th December 2022
Age: 96

[Source: Westminster City Council]

Service number: 2225059

[Source: RAFA Jamaica, courtesy AD]

2225059   Flight Sergeant Peter Brown

Peter Brown was born in Jamaica (it is thought on 22 August 1926). If that date is correct he was only just 17 when he volunteered for the RAF.

According to an article by Peter Davies in The Times of 25 September 2003, after a basic training in Jamaica and then Canada, Peter Brown was one of 22,000 troops who sailed in the liner Queen Elizabeth from Nova Scotia to Gourock on the Clyde (near Glasgow).  He travelled to Britain along with a group of eleven other young men* who were all destined to be RAF wireless operators/air gunners, and was attested at Padgate on 20 September 1943.
All 12 men visited the West India Committee Rooms at 40 Norfolk Street, London, WC2 in November 1943, no doubt to pick up mail and socialise with other Caribbean servicemen and women.
According to The Times article, Peter Brown flew 5 operations in Lancaster bombers in early 1945 and then stayed on in the RAF until 1950, serving in Palestine, Tripoli, Egypt and Malta.  Subsequent employment included working for the old London County Council and the Ministry of Defence.

He was a keen supporter of cricket and a long-term member of the MCC.
As reported in the Gleaner, at some point after the war and while still in the RAF, Peter Brown returned to Jamaica for a visit.

Peter Brown died in Maida Vale, London, on 17 December, 2022.

Little else about his life is known so far.  Hopefully more information will emerge in due course.

*Another member of this group was 2225050 Anthony Donovan (Tony) O’Connor who became the first post-war Black head teacher in Britain, in Smethwick, in 1967.

[Courtesy AD]

Click on the link below for an overview of operations flown by F/S Peter Brown between VE Day and VJ Day. It appears he joined 625 Squadron on May 15th 1945, a week after it took part in the famous Operation Manna, dropping food in Nazi-occupied Holland to relieve the famine there. Operation Dodge involved the repatriation of troops of the 8th Army from the Mediterranean theatre.

Peter Brown record by Dave Gilbert

[Courtesy Peter Devitt, RAF Museum London]

Below some screenshots of 625 Sq.’s records that can be found online at The National Archives. They suggest that F/S Brown flew a few more missions starting on the 25th June (that date is a bit of a guess as the actual date is cut off). He’s in the WOP/AIR column as F/S Brown. P, and occasionally as Sgt Brown. (Click on the images to enlarge)

[Source: NA AIR-27-2144 and AIR-27-2143-41; Courtesy Jack Pratt]








3 additions to “BROWN – Peter”

  1. Jack adds:

    I think Peter Brown may have flown some more missions for 625 Squadron then the ones listed in Dave Gilbert’s history. They are shown below:
    Unknown Date – Page 203 (of AIR27/2144)
    29th June 1945 – Page 204
    1st July 1945 – Page 205

    I also don’t believe that he flew under F/L Zala and did instead under F/L Hoyden on the 5th July 1945. F/L Zala had a different Brown as rear gunner previously, and even though they’ve unhelpfully not included initials, I believe that it’s probably the same one.

  2. admin adds:

    Hi Jack, thank you for this clarification. It is well appreciated. David Gilbert mentions operations records of 625 Sq. are incomplete and I’d love to know if F/Sgt Brown participated in Operation Manna. Your point about the name is of importance and should be taken into consideration. Sadly, we currently have no way of establishing the facts. Perhaps the publicity around F/Sgt Brown’s funeral will bring some new information to light.

  3. Jack adds:

    My grandfather David Pratt flew in 625 Sq. as a Wireless Operator at the same time as F/Sgt Brown, which is why I conveniently had the documents to hand (and could make the pedantic correction). He might have known him, but sadly he died in 2010.

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