When the Second World War broke out, the choice for Hugh Brown was straightforward.
“Many chose to join the Navy. Others wanted to be in the Army,” he said. “Being part of the Air Force just attracted me,” Brown said.
Brown, 86, joined the Royal Air Force when he was just over 17 years old. He had just finished school in Jamaica and was looking for something new and exciting. The idea of being part of the Air Force was just that.
“Joining the war was a trend,” Brown said. “It was just something to do when you were a young boy finishing school.”
As a Leading Aircraftsman, Brown worked with the airframes on bomber aircraft. The training process took three months to learn all the special skills needed and he remembered one of his instructors.
“We use to call him Red. He was very nice,” Brown said. “I remember one day I was mimicking him and my so-called friends didn’t tell me he was behind me listening. I turned around and he said ‘Well, Brown, if that’s what you like to do, then why don’t you drill them?’”
After his training, Brown was able to work on the planes and guard them. In his unit there were not many causalities, however, there would always be a few bombers that would never make it Brown remembered.
“I never thought I was going to die …I was just happy and proud to be of service for the country,” Brown said.
Brown said he wanted to enjoy every moment of life he had while he was serving in the war.
“We would always go out and party and have a good time.,” Brown said. “Going to London for leisure time was more dangerous than the actual war because it would always get bombed, but we wanted to see it and have fun!”
Brown is not part of any veteran organizations or associations, but he still takes what he learned during the war to heart.
“I learned a lot of discipline during my time in the war. It is something young people should have and live up to. Discipline sticks with you and helps you become a better person,” Brown said.