Arthur Whitten Brown
Overview
 
Sir Arthur Whitten Brown KBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (23 July 1886 – 4 October 1948) was the navigator of the first successful non-stop transatlantic flight
Alcock and Brown
British aviators Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland...

.
Arthur Whitten Brown was born in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 to American parents. His father had been sent to Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 to evaluate the feasibility of siting a Westinghouse factory in Clydeside. The factory was eventually sited in Trafford Park
Trafford Park
Trafford Park is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. Located opposite Salford Quays, on the southern side of the Manchester Ship Canal, it is west-southwest of Manchester city centre, and north of Stretford. Until the late 19th century it was the...

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 and the family subsequently relocated to Lancashire.

Brown began his career in engineering before the outbreak of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and undertook an apprenticeship with British Westinghouse in Manchester.
Encyclopedia
Sir Arthur Whitten Brown KBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (23 July 1886 – 4 October 1948) was the navigator of the first successful non-stop transatlantic flight
Alcock and Brown
British aviators Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland...

.

Life and work

Arthur Whitten Brown was born in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 to American parents. His father had been sent to Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 to evaluate the feasibility of siting a Westinghouse factory in Clydeside. The factory was eventually sited in Trafford Park
Trafford Park
Trafford Park is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. Located opposite Salford Quays, on the southern side of the Manchester Ship Canal, it is west-southwest of Manchester city centre, and north of Stretford. Until the late 19th century it was the...

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 and the family subsequently relocated to Lancashire.

Brown began his career in engineering before the outbreak of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and undertook an apprenticeship with British Westinghouse in Manchester. In 1914, he enlisted in the ranks of the University and Public Schools Brigade for which he had to take out British citizenship. The ranks of the UPS were full of potential officers and Brown was one of those who sought a commission to become a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. After service in France, Brown was seconded to 2 Squadron RFC as an observer.

Brown's aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Vendin-le-Vieil
Vendin-le-Vieil
Vendin-le-Vieil is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.-Geography:An ex-coalmining area, once boasting 2 pits, now a farming and light industrial town, Vending-le-Vieil lies northeast of Lens, at the junction of the D38e and the D164e...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 while on artillery observation duties. He was sent back to England to recuperate but returned only to be shot down again, this time with a punctured fuel tank, near Bapaume in BE2c 2673 on a reconnaissance flight on 10 November 1915. Brown and his pilot, 2nd Lt. H.W. Medlicott, were captured by the Germans. (In June 1918 Medlicott was shot by the Germans while attempting to escape for the fourteenth time). Later interned in Switzerland, Brown was repatriated in September 1917. After a period of leave he went to work with Major Kennedy RAF in the Ministry of Munitions. This led Brown to meet Kennedy's daughters, one of whom he later married. After the war Brown sought various appointments that would give him the security to allow him to marry. One of the firms he approached was Vickers
Vickers
Vickers was a famous name in British engineering that existed through many companies from 1828 until 1999.-Early history:Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor &...

, a consequence of which was that he was asked if he would be the navigator for the proposed transatlantic flight
Transatlantic flight
Transatlantic flight is the flight of an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. A transatlantic flight may proceed east-to-west, originating in Europe or Africa and terminating in North America or South America, or it may go in the reverse direction, west-to-east...

, partnering John Alcock
John Alcock (aviator)
Sir John William Alcock KBE, DSC was a Captain in the Royal Air Force who, together with navigator Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown, piloted the first non-stop transatlantic flight from St. John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Connemara, Ireland.-Biography:Jack Alcock was born on 5 November 1892 at...

, who had already been chosen as pilot.

Transatlantic flight

The flight from St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is the oldest English-founded city in North America. It is located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. With a population of 192,326 as of July 1, 2010, the St...

 to Clifden
Clifden
Clifden is a town on the coast of County Galway, Ireland and being Connemara's largest town, it is often referred to as "the Capital of Connemara". It is located on the Owenglen River where it flows into Clifden Bay...

, Connemara
Connemara
Connemara is a district in the west of Ireland consisting of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway.-Overview:...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 took place on 14 June 1919. They departed St John's at 1.45 pm local time, and landed in Derrygimla bog 16 hours and 12 minutes later after flying 1,980 miles (3,168 kms). The flight was made in a modified Vickers Vimy
Vickers Vimy
The Vickers Vimy was a British heavy bomber aircraft of the First World War and post-First World War era. It achieved success as both a military and civil aircraft, setting several notable records in long-distance flights in the interwar period, the most celebrated of which was the first non-stop...

 bomber, and won a £10,000 prize
Daily Mail aviation prizes
Between 1907 and 1925 the Daily Mail newspaper, initially on the initiative of its proprietor Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, awarded numerous prizes for achievements in aviation. The newspaper would stipulate the amount of a prize for the first aviators to perform a particular task in...

 offered by London's Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

newspaper for the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic. A few days after the flight both Brown and Alcock were honoured with a reception at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 during which King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

ed them and invested them with their insignia as Knight Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

.

After flight

Later he worked for Metropolitan-Vickers, the company that had once been British Westinghouse. In 1923 he was appointed chief representative for Metropolitan-Vickers in the Swansea area.

During the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Brown served in the Home Guard as a Lieutenant-Colonel before resigning his commission in July 1941, rejoining the RAF and working in Training Command dealing with navigation. His health deteriorated and by mid-1943 he had to give up RAFVR and ATC commitments on medical advice.

Brown's only son, Arthur (known as Buster), was killed on the night of 5/6 June 1944, aged 22, while serving with the RAF as a Flight Lieutenant. His aircraft, a De Havilland Mosquito VI
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

 'NT122', 605 Squadron
No. 605 Squadron RAF
No 605 Squadron was formed as an Auxiliary Air Force Squadron. Initially formed as a bomber unit, it was one of the most successful participants of the Battle of Britain. It also had the distinction of being active during World War II at two fronts at a time, when the squadron was split up between...

, crashed in Holland. Buster was buried at Hoorn
Hoorn, Friesland
Hoorn is a village on Terschelling in the province Friesland of the Netherlands and has around 460 inhabitants.-Source:*Municipality guide Terschelling 2005-2006...

 general cemetery. The death of his only son affected Brown badly.

By 1948 Brown’s health had again deteriorated, although he was allowed to undertake restricted duties as general manager for Metropolitan-Vickers at the Wind Street offices.

Brown died in his sleep on 4 October 1948 from an accidental overdose of Veronal, aged 62. Kay, his wife, died in May 1952, aged 56.
He is buried at St Margaret Churchyard, Tylers Green
Tylers Green
Tylers Green is a village in Buckinghamshire, England, situated in the parish of Chepping Wycombe.The name is derived from the large tiling industry that used to exist here. In ancient times, the village was known as Garrett or Gerrard Green...

, Buckinghamshire, England.

Works

; reprint READ BOOKS, 2008, ISBN 9781409718871
  • Our Transatlantic Flight, Alcock and Brown, William Kimber, 1969, ISBN 9780718302214

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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