Air Commodore Cyril Bob Brown, a British fighter pilot, died on Nov. 1. Cause of death was not released. He was 82.
Brown joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1939, and completing his pilot training in time to join the 245 Squadron at the Battle of Britain. Based in the Orkney Islands, his squadron protected the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow during World War II.
He flew patrols over the midlands with the 616 South Yorkshire Squadron until a German bomber shot at his plane during a firefight in 1942. Brown lost his right eye in the attack, but refused to let his disability end his flying career. Donning a black patch over the socket, Brown became a fighter weapons test pilot and an expert in rocket-firing.
In 1960, Brown and his crew set a long distance helicopter record when they flew a twin-rotor Bristol 192 from Gatwick to Malta in 12 hours. After commanding the V-bomber airfield in Waddington, Brown was promoted to Air Commodore and Commandant of the Air Warfare College. He also spent three years as the Director of Flight Safety in London.
Brown was named an honorary fellow to the American Society of Experimental Test Pilots in 2003.