With sadness, we have learned that Lex Brown died peacefully on 11th February following a long illness. As a heli pilot on Loan Service, he flew with 3 Sqn in SOAF 1977-79, as well as on operations elsewhere both before and after that period. In so many ways he was the epitome of a Support Helicopter pilot, with a remarkable track record of skill, courage and commitment: the interests of the supported unit always came first.
Above all, he was a vivid and colourful character - once encountered, not lightly forgotten: and the stories and anecdotes are many… “On Sarfait where I was based for 6 months, our livelihood was sustained by resupply drops by the SOAF AB 205s. They brought us everything, water, beer, mail, ammunition and live goats. I would gather with some jundees on Mainbrace and long before we could see it, the throbbing of the rotors could be heard; at that moment we would gather round the radio. Normally the radio would crackle into life with a conventional ‘Hello 9 Bravo (me) this is SOAF c/s etc’ and there would follow a normal chit chat of weather, how much fuel was needed and a run through of the day’s tasking. However, there was no such formality with Lex. He would just open up with a high pitched childish ‘La la la la’ and the look of sheer delight on the faces of the Omani soldiers was a joy to behold. ‘Tayyarra al amodeeya al Lex’ (it’s Lex’s chopper!) They just loved his fun approach to everything.”
The span of his interests and activities in later life was every bit as filled, varied and eventful; there is much to remember. Downs as well as ups of course; but never lost were his wicked sense of humour, loyal and generous too.
We will follow up with funeral details in due course.
In the meantime, our thoughts are with his wife Frances and their two daughters, Jessie and Flora