Captain Arthur Roy Brown – Canadian Ace 1893 / 1944
Brown was born in Carleton Place, 30 miles west of Ottawa. Although Brown did well in High School, He transferred to a business school to study accounting with a view to eventually taking over the family business. As a follow-on to this course he wanted to take a course in business administration, but he needed his high school matriculation which technically he did not have. He took a course at Victoria High School in Edmonton from 1913 to 1915 to get his high school diploma. Whilst there he befriended Wilfred R. ‘Wop’ May, another Ace in the making.
Brown enlisted in 1915, as an Officer cadet at the Army Officers training, as a prerequisite to joining the Royal Naval Air Service. Brown received his flight training at the Wright Flying School near Dayton, Ohio, from September to November 1915. He was awarded the Aero Club of America’s Pilot’s certificate No. 361 on the 13th of November and was conformed as a sub-lieutenant in the R.N.A.S. on the 15th.
Brown set sail for England on November 22nd 1915 and underwent further training at Chingford. On the 2nd of May 1916, Brown crashed his Avro 504 emerging apparently unscathed, although the next morning he experienced severe back pain as he had broken a vertebra. He spent two months in hospital and in September 1916 was transferred to Eastchurch Gunnery School. In January 1917 he was sent to Cranwell to complete his advanced training.
In March 1917, Brown was posted to No.9 Naval Squadron, flying coastal patrols off the Belgian coast in Sopwith Pups. In April ‘B’ flight which included Brown was attached to The R.F.C. to assist during the Battle of Arras. Brown took ill at this time and missed ‘Bloody April’ when the British suffered heavy losses.
In June 1917, Brown was posted to No.11 Naval Squadron, on the 17th of July he achieved his first victory, over an Albatros D.III, whilst flying a Sopwith Pup and later that month another three unconfirmed kills.
To Be Continued ………….
(C) Damian Grange 2018