Flt/Lt Charles 'Charlie' Brown, Rear Gunner
Flt/Lt Charles Brown 'Charlie', He served from around 1942/3 to 1945 on 214 Squadron in Norfolk, finally ending up (in '45 at St Athans.) Sadly Charlie passed away in 2003, and is fondly referred to by his nephew Tim as a remarkable and lovely man. Charlie was a gunner, a 'tail end' Charlie! "It is not difficult to imagine the good natured jokes that Charlie would have had to put up with from the other boys over this".
Although Charlie would not talk of his service much, Tim recalls some of the stories that were relayed to him over the years...........................
Shot up after a raid, they bailed out into the channel off Dover. He was very cross because he lost his favourite lighter. Shot up again, the rear turret had filled with fuel, presumably up to his knees. He prayed he would not see a fighter because firing off a round would probably ignite the lot. After another raid on the way home, a squadron a/c not well versed in the art of recognition, kept firing at them. Sufficed to say, that on arriving back at base, a scuffle ensued. I presume, that as Squadron boxing champ, he won his fight!
Again, on arrival home, while 'making safe', his harness caught in the firing mechanism and a round was discharged into the tarmac. Apparently, procedures were changed to prevent a repetition. To combat the cold, a heated suit was trailed. It didn't work very well, heating the body to boiling point down one side, and freezing off the other side. He flew Lancs and I believe possibly the Fortress as well?
After the war he became a councillor for the Conservatives at Wirksworth Derbyshire, President of the Well Dressing Society, and a senior Freemason. Flt/Lt Charles Brown, aside from his wife, a son and daughter and his nephew Tim, is also survived by his sister.
Source : Tim Broxton, RAF retd. Family of Flt/Lt Brown, Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Date record last updated : 14 June 2009