Navy Net - Royal Navy Community

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown CBE, DSC, AFC Royal Navy


War Hero
Review Editor
Book Reviewer
Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown CBE, DSC, AFC Royal Navy

Many of you will have heard of Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown, one of Britain’s foremost test pilots who started off flying in wooden, flimsy bi-planes through nearly every model of British military and several foreign military aircraft right up to the jet age. He holds numerous records for the work he has done over the years having flown 487 different types of aircraft from many different countries. His Wikipedia entry is eye opening to say the least ( )

A book has recently been published, “Too Close for Comfort” about his exploits but not in the usual fashion. This book is a special limited edition covering fifteen of the many exploits that Winkle was involved in throughout his career. These have been depicted in paintings and sketches by Michael Turner, the famous aviation artist, each has a narrative explaining the event depicted in Winkle Brown’s own inimitable way.

As ever, Winkle Brown is thinking of others and the proceeds of this book are going to the Fly Navy Heritage Trust. I tried, tongue in cheek, for a review copy but at a throwaway price of £150 for the ordinary edition and £350 for the leather bound edition, the publishers thought it bestnot to let me have one! However, this should not pass us by unnoticed as Winkle Brown has been the subject of a few threads on this site, deservedly so, and there is a lot of interest in this remarkable man.

The full press release is as follows:

‘Too Close for Comfort’

Legendary Pilot’s breath-taking story of death defying courage
The world’s greatest test pilot, Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown CBE DSC AFC Royal Navy will be launching his latest book ‘Too Close for Comfort’ on Thursday 2 July at Mead Carney Fine Art Gallery, 45 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W15 4FF at 18.30.

The book, which is a special limited edition, tells the story of fifteen of the most gripping and hair-raising close-calls in Eric’s legendary flying career, each episode dramatically illustrated by a series of stunning paintings and sketches by renowned aviation artist and President of the Guild of Aviation Artists, Michael Turner FGAvA.

Retold in the author’s own inimitable style, the incidents include: narrowly surviving an attack from a Messerschmitt Bf 109 in a Norwegian fjord while flying a Blackburn Skua, developing the tactics of head-on attack on a heavily armed Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Kurier, and being dragged unconscious from the Solent after hitting some floating debris and cartwheeling the prototype SR/A1 jet seaplane.

The danger and drama of each incident is powerfully brought to life by Michael Turner’s paintings and none more so than the closest shave of all - the heart-stopping painting of the sinking of HMS Audacity in the freezing Atlantic in December 1941. “I will never forget that fateful day” said Eric “We were hit by three torpedoes from German U-boat U-751.The ship reared up so steeply that the aircraft plunged down the wildly tilting deck. She sank taking all her aircraft with her. I lost many friends that day and was very lucky to survive.”

The book launch will also include an auction of the fifteen original paintings in the book. Michael Turner has a world-wide reputation as an artist of great technical skill and has exhibited his work in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. The paintings are fine examples of his work and are expected to attract great interest from art collectors, historians and aviation enthusiasts alike.

Speaking of working with Eric on the book, Michael said “It was deeply emotional – Eric’s account of each incident was so vivid that I could immediately visualise ‘Guy Fawkes night in the cockpit’ or the ‘turquoise green glow of phosphorescence surrounding the U-boat’. Interpreting his experiences and painting each white-knuckle moment was a great privilege. I felt as though I lived through each of them with him!”

With the provenance of these exceptional paintings so intrinsically a part of Eric’s remarkable life, they are coming on the market as a unique and rare collection. They will be on public display in the Mead Carney Gallery from 1st – 2nd July and a preview catalogue is available on request.

Captain Eric Brown has flown more aircraft types (487) than any other pilot in the world and also holds the world record for deck landings at 2407. His life reads like a handbook of beating the odds and today, in his nineties, he remains a living legend, is in great demand as a lecturer and has recently been the subject of a BBC 2 documentary and a castaway on the 3000th edition of Desert Island Discs.

‘Too Close for Comfort’ is available as a signed casebound edition price £150 or a signed Collectors’ leather bound edition price £350. Proceeds from the sales of the book and the auction of the paintings will go to the Fly Navy Heritage Trust.

Sinking of HMS Audacity December 1941
EricWB_MG_0013_audacity_for-Sue-sm croped.jpg
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Bad CO Auction of Estate of Captain Eric M 'Winkle' Brown The Fleet Air Arm 10
Ageing_Gracefully Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown Current Affairs 25
Seaweed Heads up, Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown doco History 13
soleil Radio 4 - iPM - Interview With Captain Eric Winkle Brown The Fleet Air Arm 2
scouse Captain Eric Winkle Brown The Fleet Air Arm 0
scouse Captain Eric Winkle Brown Interview The Fleet Air Arm 3
MoD_RSS Captain Sir Tom Moore presented with first Veterans’ Railcard MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Captain Sir Tom Moore presented with first Veterans Railcard MoD News 0
soleil BBC4 - Wednesday, September 16th 2020 - 9 pm - Britain's Greatest Pilot: The Extraordinary Story of Captain Winkle Brown The Fleet Air Arm 2
D Captain R.N 1969 . John Templeton-Cotill Films, Music, TV & All Things Artsy 8
soleil ITV "Advice From A Submarine Captain: Six Lessons On How To Cope With Lockdown" Submariners 4
MoD_RSS Bristol boy inspired by Captain Tom wins PM award MoD News 0
MoD_RSS PM recognises Captain Tom as neighbourhood 'Point of Light' MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Fines for captain and owner of party boat which collided with police dock and vessel MoD News 0
soleil The Times: "Captain Mike Booth, 70: Helicopter Pilot In The Falklands, Naval Attaché And Cabinetmaker" The Fleet Air Arm 3
MoD_RSS The final voyage of Captain Matthew Flinders MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Heroic captain awarded for 75 years of outstanding service MoD News 1
Ageing_Gracefully Captain of HMS QE Sacked The Quarterdeck 33
MoD_RSS Press release: Remains of Captain Matthew Flinders discovered at HS2 site in Euston MoD News 0
janner Captain Walker History 14
soleil Forces Network News: "Former Army Captain MP Blames 'Defence Cuts' For Labour Win In Military City" Bases / Shore Est 5
soleil BBC R4 - Woman's Hour - 26/3/18 - Interview With Captain Ellie Ablett, CO HMS Raleigh Bases / Shore Est 3
soleil Telegraph: "Captain Peter Grindal – Obituary" Current Affairs 1
MoD_RSS News story: Captain Dean Sprouting has died MoD News 0
Drakey Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly - RIP The Fleet 65
Naval_Gazer Prince Harry appointed Captain General Royal Marines The Corps 1
S Memorial Service Captain IW Powe Nearest & Dearest 1
BreathingOutOnTheWayUp Captain MLC "Tubby" Crawford RN DSC* - The Times Obituary History 0
drewfester Captain fined for forgery Current Affairs 46
I Career progression, Captain and beyond? The Fleet Air Arm 28
L George atkins - captain royal navy History 3
soleil Guardian: "Territorial Army Captain Resigns Over Afghanistan Book" MoD News 1
soleil Pompey News: "New Captain Speaks Of Pride After Taking The Helm Of HMS Warrior" Bases / Shore Est 0
T HMS Queen Elizabeth's first Captain The Fleet 43
F Don't panic Captain Mainwaring Diamond Lil's 24
soleil Herald: "Search For Photos Of RM Captain Who Died In Commando Display Accident" The Corps 0
soleil Crosby Herald: "Former Captain Of HMS Eaglet Receives Merchant Navy Medal" Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) 0
babygravy Captain Phillips Films, Music, TV & All Things Artsy 3
FAAFLYNAVY Captain's Jaguar XJ OY60 ATF Motoring 11
soleil Liverpool Echo: "The Battle Of The Atlantic Legacy Of Captain Johnnie Walker" History 1
BreathingOutOnTheWayUp HMS ANTRIM’s Captain’s DSO auctioned for £44k History 1
soleil Telegraph: David Hart Dyke, The Captain Of HMS Coventry, On The Loss Of His Ship History 16
Topstop George Michael`s sympathy for Italian Captain Diamond Lil's 2
MoD_RSS Captain Tom Jennings killed in Afghanistan Current Affairs 1
Ninja_Stoker Fake Naval Captain Current Affairs 92
SONAR-BENDER Walting Falklands 'Captain' Diamond Lil's 27
T Walt RN Captain even fooled the RNA Current Affairs 0
soleil Pompey News: "Captain Who Took On Pirates Awarded An OBE" The Fleet 0
soleil York Press: "New HMS York Naval Captain Takes The Helm" The Fleet 0
soleil Coventry T'graph: "Captain Jack Sparrow Is Britain's Most Famous Seaman" Current Affairs 5
Similar threads

Latest Threads