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Capt. Eric Melrose ‘Winkle’ Brown CBE, OBE, MBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA, MA, Ph.D, Hon FRAeS, RN, 1919 – 2016

25 February 2016

The People's Mosquito

Capt. Eric Melrose ‘Winkle’ Brown CBE, OBE, MBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA, MA, Ph.D, Hon FRAeS, RN

1919 – 2016

Winkle The Peoples Mosquito image

You may now have heard of the sad passing of our friend and Patron, the renowned aviator Capt. Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown, who died on Sunday.

We would like to take this opportunity to pay our respects to a man who has been a stoic supporter, valued advisor and friend to The People’s Mosquito project for the past eighteen months.

Capt. Brown was one of the world’s most acclaimed test pilots, and held the world record for flying the greatest number of different types of aircraft, 487, and making the highest number of carrier landings, 2407, of which, famously, one was the first de Havilland Mosquito landing which occurred in March 1944. He was also the first to land a jet aircraft on an aircraft carrier, and that was in 1945. He was the Royal Navy’s most decorated pilot and during World War Two flew fighter aircraft and witnessed the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp. He went on to test many captured Axis aircraft including the rocket-fuel powered Me 163B Komet.

After the war Capt. Brown continued his work as a test pilot for the Royal Aircraft Establishment, being involved in testing the new supersonic jet types that were being developed as well as evolving carrier systems such as the steam catapult.

He accepted his last Naval appointment in 1967 when he took command of HMS Fulmar, then Royal Naval Air Station (now RAF) Lossiemouth. He retired from the Royal Navy in 1970, but didn’t finally hang up his flying goggles until 1997.

Born in Leith on 21 January 1919, he was educated at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh, where he learned to fly.

His unerring enthusiasm, energy and positivity will be greatly missed by all involved in the project.

For a flavour of Capt. Brown’s knowledge and to hear him discussing the first landing on of a de Havilland Mosquito aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable in March 1944, you may be interested in watching this video we made with him last year.

Best wishes,

The People’s Mosquito Team




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