Capt Eric “Winkle” Brown, one of the most celebrated British pilots in history, has died at the age of 97.
The Scottish-born airman was the Royal Navy’s most decorated pilot and held three world records, including flying the greatest number of different types of aircraft, at 487.
He died on Sunday at the East Surrey Hospital, Redhill after a short illness, according to the BBC.
Capt Brown flew fighter aircraft during World War Two and questioned several senior Nazis at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which was liberated by the British Army in April 1945.
During his lifetime he made a record-breaking 2407 aircraft carrier landings and survived 11 plane crashes.
While a guest on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 2014, presenter Kristy Young said: “When you read through his life story, it makes James Bond seem like a bit of a slacker.”
Born in Leith on 21 January 1919, he went on to study at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh where, to earn money for his studies, he became a “wall of death” rider on a small motorbike, the Edinburgh News reports.
Our condolences to the family of Capt Eric 'Winkle' Brown; a tribute to the aviation hero from Navy News: https://t.co/ws9taLYWlb— Royal Navy (@RoyalNavy) February 21, 2016
Capt Brown retired from the Royal Navy in 1970 having commanded HMS Fulmar, but became the director general of the British Helicopter Advisory Board and in 1982 the president of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
In 2015 he was honored at 10 downing Street as a Great Scot.
Notable deaths in 2016
Notable deaths in 2016
1/33 Duke of Westminster
Billionaire landowner the Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor has died on 9 August, aged 64
2/33 Christina Knudsen
Sir Roger Moore’s stepdaughter Christina Knudsen has died from cancer on 25 July at teh age of 47
3/33 Caroline Aherne
The actress Caroline Aherne has died from cancer on 2 July at the age of 52
4/33 Christina Grimmie
Christina Grimmie, 22, who was an American singer and songwriter, known for her participation in the NBC singing competition The Voice, was signing autographs at a concert venue in Orlando on 10 June when an assailant shot her. Grimmie was transported to a local hospital where she died from her wounds on 11 June
5/33 Kimbo Slice
Former UFC and Bellator MMA fighter Kimbo Slice died after being admitted to hospital in Florida on 6 June, aged 42
6/33 Muhammad Ali
The three-time former heavyweight world champion died after being admitted to hospital with a respiratory illness on 3 June, aged 74
7/33 Sally Brampton
Brampton who was the launch editor of the UK edition of Elle magazine has died on 10 May, aged 60
8/33 Billy Paul
The soul singer Billy Paul, who was best known for his single “Me and Mrs Jones”, has died on 24 April, aged 81
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
Prince, the legendary musician, has been found dead at his Paisley Park recording studio on 21 April. He was 57
WWE icon Joan Laurer dies aged 45 after being found at California home on 20 April
11/33 Victoria Wood
The five-time Bafta-winning actress and comedian Victoria Wood has died on 20 April at her London home after a short illness with cancer. She was 62
The entertainer and former husband of Liza Minnelli, David Gest has been found dead on 12 April in the Four Seasons hotel in Canary Warf, London. He was 62-years-old
13/33 Denise Robertson
Denise Robertson, an agony aunt on This Morning for over 30 years, has died on 1 April, aged 83
14/33 Zaha Hadid
Dame Zaha Hadid, the prominent architect best known for designs such as the London Olympic Aquatic Centre and the Guangzhou Opera House, has died of a heart attack on 31 March, aged 65
15/33 Ronnie Corbett
British entertainer Ronnie Corbett has passed away on 31 March at the age of 85
2014 Getty Images
16/33 Imre Kertesz
Hungarian writer and Holocaust survivor Imre Kertesz, who won the 2002 Nobel Literature Prize, has died on 31 March, at the age of 86
17/33 Rob Ford
Rob Ford, the former controversial mayor of Toronto, has died following a battle with a rare form of cancer. The 46-year-old passed away at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto on 22 March
18/33 Joey Feek
Joey (left) passed away in March after a two-year cancer illness. She was part of country music duo, Joey + Rory, with her husband Rory (right)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
19/33 Umberto Eco
Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco died 19 February 2016 aged 84
20/33 Harper Lee
Harper Lee, the American novelist known for writing 'To Kill a Mockingbird', died February 19, 2016 aged 89
2005 Getty Images
Vanity, pictured performing in 1983, died aged 57
22/33 Dave Mirra
The BMX legend's body found inside truck with gunshot wound after apparent suicide aged 41
23/33 Harry Harpham
The former miner became Sheffield Labour MP in May after many years as a local councillor. He died after succumbing to cancer, at the age of 61.
24/33 Dale Griffin
The Mott the Hoople drummer died on January 17, aged 67
25/33 Rene Angelil
Celine Dion's husband and manager Rene Angelil has lost his battle with cancer on 14 January, aged 73
2011 Getty Images
26/33 Alan Rickman
Legendary actor Alan Rickman has died on 14 January at the age of 69 after battle with pancreatic cancer. He is largely regarded as one of the most beloved British actors of our generation with roles in Love Actually, Die Hard, Michael Collins, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and an illustrious stage career
2015 Getty Images
27/33 Maurice White
The Earth, Wind & Fire founder died aged 74. The nine-piece band sold more than 90 million albums worldwide and won six Grammy awards
28/33 Lawrence Phillips
Former NFL star found dead in prison cell on 13 January in suspected suicide, aged 40
29/33 Brian Bedford
Tony award-winning actor and voice of Robin Hood has died on 13 January, aged 80
30/33 David Bowie
The legendary singer passed away on 11 January, aged 69, alongside his family, after living with cancer for 18 months
31/33 David Margulies
The veteran actor, most famous for his role in Ghostbusters, has died in New York on 11 January, aged 78
32/33 Michael Galeota
Former Disney child star has been found dead in LA apartment on 10 January, aged 31
33/33 Christy O'Connor Jnr
Irish Golfer who became a Ryder Cup hero after a spectacular final hole in 1989, has died on 6 January, aged 67
2005 Getty Images
A statement released by his family said: "It is with deep regret that the passing of Captain Eric Melrose Brown CBE DSC AFC is announced.
"Eric was the most decorated pilot of the Fleet Air Arm in which service he was universally known as 'Winkle' on account of his diminutive stature."
Capt Brown is survived by his son, Glen, and his second wife, Jean Kelly Brown.Reuse content