Born: 1923, Edmonton, Middlesex.
Died: 3rd May 1945; age: 21; aircraft did not return from an anti-shipping mission.
Rank: Flight Sergeant/Pilot; Service Number: 1393134.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 181 Squadron.
Originally buried at Bussau Cemetery. Body exhumed, identified and re-buried at Hamburg Cemetery on the 20th June 1947.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Arthur William Brown & Florence Rebecca Brown, of Ipswich.
Father: Arthur William Brown.
Mother: Florence Rebecca Brown (nee Francis).
James is also remembered on the war memorial at St Mary at Stoke Church, Ipswich.
3rd May 1945
Aircraft: Hawker Typhoon 1b – a single-seat ground attack fighter; Serial Number: JP383. On the 1st May 1944, the squadron moved to Advance Landing ground B156 at Luneburg, Germany. It was around this time that James joined the squadron. On the 3rd May the squadron carried out two ground attack sorties (and launched but recalled a third) against German ground targets including military vehicles and aircraft on the ground. Two further sorties were then launched against German shipping off Kiel. The first involved twelve aircraft and the second ten aircraft. James was a pilot in the first anti-shipping mission. He did not return and none of the other squadron aircraft saw what happened to him. His body was recovered and buried. Some reports suggest his aircraft was hit by flak but this seems unlikely as the Germans were in near total disarray and none of the other squadron aircraft reported encountering any flak. Although he may have been shot down it is possible his aircraft suffered some form of failure leading to loss of control.
Aircraft information courtesy of John Allan.