Flying Officer E H Brown, DFC
Edwin Hanlon Brown was born on 9 May 1918 at Toowomba. He attended the Grammar School there. Tall and fair-haired, he came to Sydney to work as a bank clerk with the Union Bank at Crows Nest. He lived at 56 Fairlight Street, Manly, and joined the Manly Life Saving Club and Manly Hockey Club. He competed in the Manly LSC team in the Australian surfboat championships.
He enlisted in October 1940 and became a Flying-Officer with the RAAF, seconded to 682 Squadron RAF. He flew more than 60 sorties, including one reconnaissance flight prior to the Dieppe Raid which involved extremely dangerous very low-level flying. Reconnaissance photographs taken by him on this occasion proved to be of great importance to the operation. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943, with the gazettal referring to his 62 sorties and his successful accomplishment of a reconnaissance flight over Naples in April 1943 in the face of heavy and accurate fire from ground defences. He must have been very brave.
He was flying a Spitfire on a mission on 5th May 1943, when he called to say that he was about four miles north of Algiers. This message was quickly followed by another saying “May Day, I am baling out”. It is thought that he must have had to bale out at low altitude, as his parachute did not have time to deploy. His body was recovered from the sea off Algiers, and he was buried at the El Alia military cemetery near that city. His mother accepted his DFC at a ceremony in Government House, Brisbane.
A photo of his gravestone has been posted online by volunteers John and Jill Mitchell. I would love to hear from anyone who knows of a photograph of F/O Brown.
 Brisbane Courier-Mail 27 August 1942, p3.