Wing Commander Jack Meadows, DFC, AFC, AE
The Museum is sad to report the passing of one of its long-term members, Jack Meadows, on July 20, 2010.
Jack Meadows was born in India and brought up in the UK. In 1937, as soon as he was old enough (17), he got his Licence (forerunner of to-days PPL). He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve, flying Tiger Moths and Hawker Hart variants to Wings standard. At the outbreak of war, he waited until January 1940 and was then posted to repeat the SFTS course on the Harvard Mk. I.
Destined for a Spitfire OTU, he was instead diverted to CFS Upavon for an Instructors’ course, then taught on Harvards. In late 1940 he was sent to Canada to instruct on Ansons at Fort Macleod, AB and Carberry, MB. In 1942 he was a Flight Commander at the Flying Instructors’ School at Vulcan, AB. Early in 1943 he instructed on the Senior Officers Refresher Course at Trenton, ON, and was then sent back to the UK on an Empire CFS course.
On his arrival, by lying to Air Ministry, he instead got at long last to a Spitfire OTU then to 130 Squadron on operations at West Malling. Late in the year the squadron was sent north to Catterick and he transferred to 604 (County of Middlesex) night fighter squadron, which was then flying the Beaufighter VI. Soon re-equipped with the Mosquito XIII, 604 moved south to cover the invasion, then was the first allied NF squadron into occupied Europe. In September, he was appointed as a Flight Commander in 219 Squadron (Mosquito NF 30), also in 2 TAF. In 1945, tour expired, he became the Personal Assistant and Personal Pilot to his former AOC in a new SHAEF under Air Command Berlin, which was soon redundant. He finished the war at HQ 2nd TAF.
After joining Unilever in early 1946, on the reformation of the Auxiliary Air Force he joined 600 (City of London) Squadron, had a short spell with 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, returned to 600, and soon to Command of the squadron (the original Spitfire XVIs and 21s had soon been replaced by Meteor 4s, then 8s). In 1955 he handed over the squadron to become Wing Commander (Ops) in Metropolitan Sector until his company sent him in 1957 to South Africa for eight years.
Since then he has only done some occasional light aircraft flying. On his retirement in 1981, after 35 years with Unilever in various senior positions, he and his wife (a B.C. girl he had married in 1942) came to B.C., where both daughters were living. Since then has written at some length for (mainly) aviation magazines and also kept his aviation interest up by involvement with the Canadian Museum of Flight, at Langley. He is also Past Chairman of the Greater Vancouver Air Crew Association.