HERO of the MONTH

Wing Commander John Connell Freeborn DFC & Bar

Freeborn, as a flight lieutenant, with the ribbon for his DFC on his uniform
LORD ASHCROFT MEDAL COLLECTION/IWM
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 74 Squadron pilots Poulton, Freeborn, Wood, Baker and Mould standing by a Spitfire Mk.IIA
LORD ASHCROFT MEDAL COLLECTION/IWM

“War stories can contain a mix of tragedy and triumph and Freeborn’s formidable record was also tinged with controversy and regret”

Wing Commander John Freeborn held the distinction of flying more operational hours during the Battle of Britain than any other RAF pilot. However, as is so often the case, war stories can contain a mix of tragedy and triumph and Freeborn’s formidable record during World War Two was also tinged with controversy and regret.

The pilot had a general disdain for authority and this led to a series of clashes with his superiors during a distinguished career that twice saw his bravery being recognised with the award of a prestigious gallantry medal. Later in his life, he helped an author to co-write his biography.

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