On Saturday 26 September 2015 the Scottish Aero Club (SAC), Scotland’s oldest and largest civilian flying club held a special event to honour one of its most distinguished honorary members, John “Jock”Moffat, a veteran of World War Two and author of ‘I sank the Bismarck.’
John is now 96 years old and commenced 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.
It was whilst 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.
John continues to demonstrate a love of aviation that is second to none, even although he is now well into his 10th decade. 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 will be accompanied to the event by Marjory Kirkwood from the charity Scottish War Blinded, who support all veterans with sight loss irrespective of when or how their sight loss was sustained.
John arrived in a 1939 Mercedes 170 kindly donated by the Morris Leslie Group who own Perth Airport. This was 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.
As well as flying displays by vintage aircraft, the event included a formation fly past with John in the lead aircraft and formal presentation. During the presentation a number of well wishing notes were read out, including from a range of famous pilots and supporters that John has met through the years.
The SAC’s tribute will be led by its President, Mr Mike Ashmole, with the presentation by Major Andrew Gordon, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Perth & Kinross. Major Gordon, himself a noted ex-military pilot, will be arriving at the event in his vintage Tiger Moth aircraft.
As a special surprise for John, thanks to the research support of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, was re-presented with replacements for wartime medals that were lost many years ago