John Broome grew up near London. He enlisted with the RAF and was posted to No. 5 British Flying Training School, Riddle Field Clewiston in 1943, Course 18. After he was awarded his Wings, he returned to Britain and did a short spell of flying instruction.
He was then posted to the Glider Pilot Regiment, flying troop-carrying gliders preparing for the Rhine crossing. As WW2 was coming to a close, he had a short period flying Halifax bombers.
Demobbed in 1946, John worked in his family’s hardware store. He married Muriel in 1947. In 1958, John started his own business which he managed until he retired in 1986.
John was a long time member of the 5BFTS Association. In 1996, he joined the committee to manage ‘Special Projects’. One of these was overseeing the commissioning of the Arcadia Memorial Painting, presented to the Mayor of Arcadia in April 1998 for the people of Arcadia as a token of respect and gratitude for their continuing devotion to the last resting places of the cadets in Arcadia's Oak Ridge Cemetery. In 2001, a copy of the painting was given to the Bedford Moat House (now Park Inn by Radisson Bedford Hotel) for display in their public rooms in recognition of 5BFTS reunions held there.
‘Special projects’ also included the newsletter, and John’s regular appeal for articles and information bore fruit as his editorship coincided with a period when each edition included articles from ex-cadets about their time in Florida and life since. In July 2003, John was elected to fill the vacant post of 5BFTS Association Vice-Chairman, but was still in charge of Special Projects – including the newsletter! When Harry Leeks died in August 2009, John became Chairman; he retained the post until the Association was disbanded (or perhaps demobbed is a better word!!) in September 2013.
Formerly a barnstormer and flying instructor for stunt pilots, John Paul Riddle was a pioneer in aviation history taking the controls only 17 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight. His career in aviation had taken him from the Embry-Riddle...
Units served with
The 'Arnold Scheme' (1941-43) and the British Flying Training Schools (1941-45), with the co-operation of Squadron Leader Mills DFC and President Roosevelt, enabled the setting up of flight training in the USA for RAF pilots to train alongside American...
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