News

The National Museum of the Royal Navy secures medals and log books of Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown for the nation

25 November 2016

The National Museum of the Royal Navy secures medals and log books of Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown for the nation

Statement from Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy. November 25 2016

We are delighted to announce that The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been able to secure the medals and log books of Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown following the intervention of an incredibly generous donor. It is fair to say that Captain Brown was by many measures the Fleet Air Arm’s most significant pilot of the post-war period and we are thrilled and honoured to be able to class this collection as one of our own.

We can now preserve the record of innovation which is contained within Captain Brown’s log books which includes previously untapped information and display them for the world to see. The Fleet Air Arm Museum is the spiritual home of the service and a right and fitting place for the medals and logbook to be displayed at.

Captain Brown holds a world record for the most aircraft carrier take-offs – 2,407 and the most landings – 2,271, and on 3rd December 1945 became the first ever pilot to take off and land a jet aircraft – the Sea Vampire - on a carrier. He went on to make many contributions of wider significance to aviation history , using his Fleet Air Arm experience to fly a world record breaking 486 types of aircraft, and to test aircraft for other services and for allies.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum was fortunate to work with Captain Brown in the last decades of his life and have been able to mark and honour his contribution in a number of ways.
The Museum’s collections include the very Vampire Mk1 in which he completed his jet-powered flight, as well as the goggles and gloves which he wore during his tests; in 2015 Captain Brown himself unveiled a new bronze bust commissioned by the Museum which stands proudly in our galleries.

Just as importantly the Museum worked with him to record in detail the long span of his service to form a key part of the archive – which includes the nation’s most significant collection of naval pilots’ flying logs – of the Fleet Air Arm.