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South Australian Air Ace, John Reynolds Cock

Thursday 10 September, 2015

South Australian Air Ace, John Reynolds Cock, was originally from Renmark. Educated at Renmark High and Prince Alfred College, John joined the Royal Air Force on a short service commission in March 1938 and was posted to the 87 Squadron at Debden. After the outbreak of war, the squadron moved to France. While in France he had 5 confirmed kills as well as the honour of being the first Australian pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft in World War 2.

With the fall of France in June 1940, the squadron returned to England and was deployed against Germany in what became known as the Battle of Britain.  John continued flying until 11 August 1940 when his Hurricane V7233 was hit and he was forced to bail out. He landed in the sea off Portland Bill, swam ashore and was admitted to hospital. One month later he re-joined his unit and continued to serve with distinction. Over time he obtained the rank of Squadron Leader with over 10 enemy aircraft shoot downs recorded. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  He returned to the United Kingdom many years later to witness the salvage of his Hurricane near Portland Bill. John Reynolds Cock died in Australia on 20 August, 1988.

For more information on the John Reynolds Cock, go to his profile on the RSL Virtual War Memorial here.


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