The Airmen's Stories - P/O A C Cochrane
Arthur Charles Cochrane was born in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada on 27th April 1919, the son of Arthur Ormiston Cochrane (1879-1926) and of Helen Rose Cochrane (nee Christian 1885-1960).
He was educated at Vernon High School.
He was at 3 E&RFTS Hamble in April 1939, as a candidate for a short service commission. With training completed at 8 FTS Montrose and 14 FTS Kimloss, Cochrane joined 263 Squadron on 13th April 1940.
If he took part in the Norwegian campaign this has not been recorded as 263’s records of the time were destroyed.
Above image Cochrane family via Diana Domai.
Cochrane was posted to 257 Squadron at Hendon on 23rd May, where it was being reformed. The squadron became operational on 1st July and moved to Northolt.
On 8th August Cochrane claimed a Me109 destroyed, on the 12th he damaged a He111, on the 18th he probably destroyed a Do17 and damaged another, on the 31st shot down a Me110, on 7th September he claimed a Do17 destroyed and on the 15th he shared a Do17 and a He111.
Above: his portrait was made by Cuthbert Orde
On the 15th Cochrane was badly injured in a car accident and spent some months in hospital. He joined 87 Squadron at Charmy Down in August 1942, as a Flight Commander.
He went to North Africa with the squadron in November 1942. On 22nd January 1943 Cochrane was scrambled from Djidelli in the early morning. Although it was still dark, he found and shot down a SM79 into the sea.
Awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th March 1943), Cochrane failed to return from a patrol on 31st March 1943. His Hurricane IIc HW619 went down in the vicinity of Cap Bougeron, Tunis.
He was 24 and is commemorated on the Malta Memorial.
His older brother S/Ldr. Homer Powell Cochrane also served in the RAF and was awarded the DFC. At an investiture at Buckingham Palace he received from the King his DFC and also that awarded to his brother.