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602 City of Glasgow Squadron

Formed in 1925, it became the longest serving squadron in the front line in the Battle of Britain.

BROWN, Eric Melrose “Winkle”. CBE, DSC, AFC, Hon FRAeS

Born in Leith, Scotland 1919. Former Royal Navy officer and test pilot. He holds the world records for number of aircraft types flown (487), and number of aircraft carrier landings and takeoffs. He was also the first pilot to fly a jet aircraft on and off an aircraft carrier.

COCHRANE, Sir Ralph Alexander (1895 – 1977)

Air Chief Marshall of the Royal Air Force. Born in Springfield, Fife. He was responsible for planning bombing raids against German industry during World War II, including the ‘Dambusters Raid’ in 1943.


COCKBURN, George Bertram (1872-1931) Fleet Air Arm

Diaspora. Several previous generations of the Cockburn family had lived at Inveresk near Edinburgh, including his father George Cockburn. Young George was born in Birkinhead and sent to be educated at Loretto school in Edinburgh, followed by New College, Oxford. During a distinguished flying career he trained the first four British naval pilots.

CRUIKSHANK, John Alexander VC (1920-Extant 2013)

Born Aberdeen, Scotland. Awarded the VC for conspicuous bravery while piloting his Catalina flying boat on 17th July 1944 in the North Atlantic on anti-submarine patrol.

DICKSON, Bertram FRGS (1873-1913)

Born Edinburgh, Scotland. In September 2010 a fly-past of historic aircraft took place on Salisbury Plain to mark the centenary of the day he persuaded key political and army figures of the importance of air power. Aviation historian Michael Hickey said ” His (Dickson’s) personal belief in the urgent need for air-power in 1910 and his fight to achieve his goals, have established him in history as the founder of British military aviation.” He is widely considered to be the father of the Royal Flying Core, precursor of the RAF. He also holds two records. The first British serviceman to qualify as a pilot, and along with Rene Thomas of France, the first aviators to have had a mid-air collision. Both survived the experience.

DOWDING, Hugh, GCB, GCVO, CMG (1882-1970)

Air Chief Marshall Hugh Caswall Trmenheere Dowding was born at Moffat in the Scottish borders. He was commander of RAF Fighter Command throughout the Battle of  Britain.

MCKELLAR, Archibald “Archie” DSO, DFC & Bar. (Fighter Ace)

Born Paisley, Renfrewshire (1912-1940) He is credited with 21 confirmed aerial victories including five in one day. On 1st November 1940, he was shot down and killed one day after the official end of the Battle of Britain.

Moffat, John William Charlton (b. 1919) Fleet Air Arm pilot

Born in the Scottish Borders near Kelso. Is famous for crippling the German battleship Bismark with a torpedo while flying his carrier based Fairey Swordfish biplane. He celebrated his 90th birthday in June 2009 by performing aerobatics in a light aircraft.

PINKERTON, George DFC (Fighter Ace)

Born Glasgow 1916. A Renfrewshire farmer and Spitfire pilot. On 16 October 1939 while flying with 602 City of Glasgow squadron, engaged the first German aircraft to be shot down over British soil.

REID, William VC (1921-2001)

Born Baillieston near Glasgow, Scotland. He was awarded the VC for most conspicuous bravery on the night of November 3rd 1943, for his actions as pilot and captain of a Lancaster bomber taking part on a raid on Dusseldorf.

SMITH, James Robert 1891-N/A) Fighter Ace

Born Shetland, Scotland. Emigrated to Canada in 1910. Returned to UK on outbreak of war in 1914 and downed 5 enemy aircraft. Returned to Canada in 1919.

Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress