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Commander Rupert Arnold Brabner DSO DSC (29 October 1911 – 27 March 1945) was a British Member of Parliament (MP) who served with the Royal Navy as a pilot in the Second World War and became an ace with 5.5 confirmed kills.

Rupert Brabner

Ruper Brabner.jpg
Born(1911-10-29)29 October 1911
Epping, Essex, England
Died27 March 1945(1945-03-27) (aged 33)
near Azores
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Commands held801 Naval Air Squadron (1941–42)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsDistinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Cross
Other workMember of Parliament for Hythe (1939–45)


Brabner, who was an Essex man from Loughton, was educated at Felsted School and St Catharine's College, Cambridge. By profession he was a banker and a director of Singer & Friedlander Ltd.

Brabner became a member of London County Council for West Lewisham in 1937,[1] and served until his death. He was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Hythe in Kent on 20 July 1939,[2] and was later appointed as a government whip. He was appointed to be Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Air in 1944.

He and his sister Jean Gwenneth (also killed in World War II) are commemorated by a blue plaque on the family home at Loughton.[3] His sister was a surgeon at St. Giles Hospital who was killed in a German V-1 rocket attack on London.[4]

War serviceEdit

Brabner served as an officer of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War as a Fleet Air Arm pilot. He served with 806 Squadron (November 1940), 805 (early 1941), 806 Squadron (March 1941) and 801 Squadrons FAA at HMS Illustrious (aircraft carrier), HMS Heron (RN Air Station, Yeovilton, Somerset), HMS Eagle (aircraft carrier), HMS Victorious (aircraft carrier), HMS Indomitable (aircraft carrier) and at Crete and North Africa.

From 11 August 1941 to September 1942 Brabner was the commanding officer of 801 Squadron serving aboard HMS Eagle, which was sunk on 11 August 1942. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions during Operation Harpoon.[5] After surviving the loss of the Eagle, he was appointed to the staff of ViceAdmiral Aircraft Carriers for landings in North Africa and in 1943 was made naval assistant (technical) to the 5th Sea Lord. For his actions in August 1943 during Operation Pedestal he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[6]

Brabner was an air ace with 5 confirmed destroyed enemy aircraft, 1 shared destroyed, and 1 probable.

Commander Brabner died age 33 when the Liberator aircraft taking him to Canada with Air Marshal Peter Drummond was lost off the Azores. He is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial on bay 6, panel 2[7]


  1. ^ Who Was Who, 1941-50. p.131
  2. ^ "No. 34648". The London Gazette. 25 July 1939. p. 5104.
  3. ^ Loughton Council Website - Blue Plaque - 47 Spareleaze Hill Archived 27 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ War Graves details - Jean Gwenneth Brabner
  5. ^ "No. 35687". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 August 1942. p. 3817.
  6. ^ "No. 36143". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 August 1943. p. 3785.
  7. ^ CWGC entry - Rupert Brabner

External linksEdit