WW2 pilot John star guest of flying club

SBBN-01-10-15 John moffat WW2 pilot
SBBN-01-10-15 John moffat WW2 pilot

The Scottish Aero Club (SAC), Scotland’s oldest civilian flying club, has honoured one of its most distinguished members, World War Two veteran John “Jock” Moffat.

John, who was born in Swinton, is the last surviving member of the air attack on the German warship Bismarck.

The SAC’s special event at Perth saw flying displays by vintage aircraft, and a formation fly past with John in the lead aircraft. Tributes were led by president, Mike Ashmole, with a presentation by Major Andrew Gordon, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross.

As a special surprise for John, thanks to the research support by the Fleet Air Arm Museum, he was re-presented with replacements for his World War Two medals that were lost many years ago.

John arrived in a 1939 Mercedes 170, the last Mercedes car supplied outside Germany before the outbreak of hostilities.

He was met by a piper and guard of honour supplied by local units of the Sea Cadet Corps and Air Training Corps.

Now aged 96, John started his flying training nearly 80 years ago. He has been a member of the SAC for over 30 years following a 40 year break from flying after his wartime service as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm.

John travelled extensively, flying off four different aircraft carriers, including HMS Argus, HMS Furious, HMS Formidable and HMS Ark Royal.

It was while flying off HMS Ark Royal in 1941 that John was involved in his most celebrated war time engagement, the successful torpedoing of the German battleship Bismarck. He dropped the torpedo that crippled the Bismarck, rendering her un-manoeuvrable and at the mercy of the Royal Navy - leading to her eventual sinking.

His memories were captured in the book I Sank The Bismarck, which he co-authored with Mike Rossiter, although John has insisted the book should have been titled We Sank the Bismarck.

John continues to demonstrate a love of aviation that is second to none.

He still takes every opportunity to get airborne, although these days he is accompanied by another pilot due to his deteriorating eyesight.

In recognition of the support they have given him, John was accompanied by Marjory Kirkwood of Scottish War Blinded, who support veterans with sight loss.