Bennett & The Pathfinders
PFF STAFF Note: If these members of staff did not serve with 97 Squadron, we are giving biographical details only as opposed to the crew pages on the 97 Squadron site.


Sqn.-Ldr. J. C. MacGown, M.D., Ch.B.
Group Medical Officer

Clifford Alabaster: "The Group MO was Doc. MacGown who gave up his Harley Street practice as an eye specialist to serve in the RAF and came to PFF, where he distinguished himself by flying as a rear gunner on a number of raids, for which he was awarded the DFC. Unique! 'Doc' MaGown's feats were fairly common knowledge."

Jennie Gray: A book published in 1947, "Inter-Allied Conferences on War Medicine 1942-45", edited by Major-General Sir Henry Letheby Tidy, contains an article by MacGown, written in November 1943, which clearly relates to his own experiences of operational flying. Entitled "Night Vision Training and Night Vision in Operational Flying", it describes night vision in terms which can only come from personal experience.

Other Details:
Our thanks to David Layne, Kyt, and other WWII buffs

Flight Lieutenant John Cecil MACGOWN, M.D., Ch.B
S/L from 16 December 1941
Mentioned in Despatches 2nd June 1944
Acting Wing Commander J. C. MACGOWN (72766), R.A.F.V.R.
Distinguished Flying Cross. 6th June, 1944
Relinquished commission 10th Feb. 1954

Jennie Gray: The following details have also been fished up on a John Cecil MacGown who may or may not be our man. If it is him, he would have been 47 years old at the time of writing the article on Night vision. This seems a little old to me to be acting as a rear gunner when split-second reactions were needed, but perhaps I am being ageist!

MacGOWN, John Cecil, Lt., 6964, 2/1 Scot. Horse & RFC; 1 SMA, 16 Oct. 1916; 14 RS, d/u; 1 SAG, d/u; Lt. (Flg. Off.) & to 6 RS, 13 Feb. 1917; 41 Sqdn., 21 Mar. 1917; 1/7 Dest. Alb. 2-seater, 27 May 1917; 1 Dest. Alb. 2-seater, 13 Jun. 1917; ½ Dest. Alb. 2-seater with Lt. C. J. Dickinson over Salient by Roulers, 17 Jun. 1917; shot down by AA & WIA in F.E.8, A4937, captured at Le Chatelet, 7 Jul. 1917; Lt., 1 Apr. 1918; repat. to UK, arr. Dover then sent to POW Reception Camp, Ripon, Yorks., 14 Dec. 1918; to UL, 15 Feb. 1919, att. 41 Sqdn. reunion, 27 Feb. 1937 as Dr. J. C. McGown.

Born: March 10, 1896
Educ: Bedford School and Edinburgh University
Served RFC and RAF as pilot and 1916-19
Commodore Hong Kong Flying Club 1935
RAFVR 1939-1945
1945 - 46: OC, various RAF Stations