BROWN, Raymond Alexander Flight Lieutenant, No.438 Squadron, J21136 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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BROWN, F/L Raymond Alexander (J21136) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.438 Squadron. Award effective 3 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 14 September 1945 and AFRO 1672/45 dated 2 November 1945. Born in Toronto, 10 June 1923. Home in Toronto. Worked as a shipyard rivet passer, 1940, and store clerk, 1940-1941. Enlisted in Toronto, 4 November 1941. To No.1 Manning Depot, 7 December 1941. To No.1 SFTS (guard), 21 December 1941; to No.5 ITS, 14 March 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 9 May 1942 but not posted to No.13 EFTS until 6 June 1942; graduated 31 July 1942 and posted next day to No.2 SFTS; graduated and commissioned 20 November 1942. To “Y” Depot, 4 December 1942; to RAF overseas, 13 December 1942. Disembarked in United Kingdom, 29 December 1942. To No.5 (Pilots) AFU, 20 April 1943. Promoted Flying Officer, 20 May 1943. To No.59 OTU, 8 June 1943. To No.182 Squadron, 21 August 1943. To No.143 Wing, 14 February 1944. To No.439 Squadron, 29 February 1944. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 20 November 1944. To No.83 GSU, 2 March 1945. To No.438 Squadron, 7 March 1945. Left Germany, 19 July 1945. Repatriated 7 August 1945. To Mountain View, 17 September 1945. Retired 16 October 1945. In postwar RCAF Supplementary Reserve but no active service; released from that reserve, 1 June 1957, retaining rank of Flight Lieutenant. RCAF photo PL-28788 (ex UK-9847 dated 27 April 1944) shows him. Died in Stratford, Ontario, 19 January 1982 as per Legion Magazine of August 1982. Award sent by registered mail 28 June 1949. This officer has completed a second tour of operational duty. On one occasion he was forced to leave his aircraft by parachute over the Channel. This did not deter him from continuing to fly with keenness and he returned to operations immediately. In August, 1945 [sic], his aircraft was badly damaged during a particularly hazardous armed reconnaissance flight. He landed successfully, despite a serious shrapnel wound in his leg. Flight Lieutenant Brown has inflicted much damage on the enemy\'s lines of communication. His courage and devotion to duty have always been of the highest standard. Notes: Graduated 19th in a class of 113 at No.5 ITS. Graduated 8th in a class of 30 at No.l3 EFTS (Fleet Finch, 33.25 day dual, 32.40 day solo, 4.00 night dual - of this, 7.55 on instruments.) Logged 10.30 in Link. “Very keen, athletic, intelligent and well disciplined.” Had taken 13.40 dual to first solo. Graduated tenth in a class of 59 at No.2 SFTS (Harvard, 69.30 day dual, 108.10 day solo, 5.55 night dual, 12.20 night solo - of this, 13.50 in formation and 30.25 on instruments). Logged 25.15 in Link. Had needed 5.05 dual before going solo. “A high average pupil in all respects. Appearance and bearing good. Likeable and courteous. Quiet, reserved nature. Level headed, dependable. A very good type. Recommended for commissioned rank.” Report from No.59 OTU was for course of 8 June to 20 August 1943. Flew Master and Hurricane aircraft (1.55 dual, 49.30 solo by day, 1.45 solo by night; nine hours in formation, one hour on instruments); also logged nine hours in Link. Fired 2,750 rounds air-to-air and 128 rounds air-to-ground. “An above average pilot who has shown great keenness throughout the course. His formation flying is very good. Dusk and night flying practices were both satisfactorily carried out. This officer will undoubtedly be an asset to any squadron.” (CFI signature illegible, dated 1 September 1943). Application for 1939-1945 Star stated his first mission with No.182 Squadron had been 23 August 1943. Application for Operational Wing dated 17 April 1945 stated he had flown 15 sorties with No.182 Squadron (23 September 1943 to 22 February 1944) and 50 sorties with No.439 Squadron (22 February to 18 August 1944). Assessment dated 29 February 1944 stated he had flown 79 hours with No.182 Squadron. “Flying Officer Brown has shown himself to be a most capable and reliable pilot and his general bearing has been most excellent,” (F/L R.T. Wise); “A keen pilot. Has always shown willingness and enthusiasm in performing his duties.” (W/C B.G. Carroll). Baled out in English Channel, 23 June 1944. On 18 August 1944, flying Typhoon MN375, hit by flak which damaged engine and mainplane; salvageable. He suffered a penetrating shell wound to the right knee and brought to No.50 Mobile Field Hospital. This was his 65th or 67th sortie. “Foreign body” removed on 25 September 1944; discharged to Convalescent Home, 25 October 1944. Assessment dated 29 June 1945, at which time he had flown 671 hours 30 minutes (94.35 in previous six months). “Both in the air and on the ground he has been cool and level headed and has been a very capable flight commander.” (F/L P. Bissky, concurred in by G/C A.D. Nesbitt). Undated application for Pacific service stated he had flown a total of 100 sorties.