By Christopher Yeoman ,John Freeborn

Acting Pilot Officer John Freeborn pronounced to RAF Hornchurch on 29 October, 1938. John was once published from Flying education college to affix the already acclaimed seventy four ‘Tiger’ Squadron at eighteen years of age. one of many first humans John met while he arrived on the station used to be Bob Stanford Tuck of sixty five squadron. at the moment the Squadron was once built with the Gloster Gauntlet. A Flight’s Commander was once a good equipped, good-looking South African guy referred to as Adolf ‘Sailor’ Malan. On first assembly Malan, John concept he appeared great adequate and shortly learnt that he was once a made up our minds chief, a superb flyer and an competitive fighter pilot. ‘He used to be certainly the easiest shot there has been’ John remembers. ‘Without query Malan used to be a super marksman, yet i'll out fly him and that i bloody instructed him so too.’

John flew many operations with seventy four Squadron in Spitfires throughout the early years of the conflict and The conflict of england; he was once presented the DFC for his efforts.

During a quick respite for seventy four, John Freeborn was once promoted to Flight Lieutenant and on 29 August he used to be given command of A Flight. In 1941, the 1st couple of months observed seventy four Squadron, now established at Biggin Hill flying around the Channel with ninety two and sixty six Squadron carrying out fighter Sweeps and Circus sorties over the French coast. On 17 February 1941, John Freeborn learnt that he were provided a bar to his DFC. at the moment he had destroyed twelve enemy plane and broken many extra.

In December 1941, John Freeborn’s time with fifty seven OTU got here to an finish and soon after, he was once published to the U.S. of the USA as a Liaison Officer. through the following years John could serve in 602 Squadron as a Squadron chief supernumerary, then onto 118 Squadron as Commanding Officer after which eventually he grew to become the RAF’s youngest Wing Commander, chargeable for the 286 Italian Wing stationed at Grottaglie. In 1946 John Connell Freeborn DFC and Bar left the Royal Air strength with honor and distinction.

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