It is with great sadness that the HAA laments the death of former Fleet Air Arm pilot Lieutenant Commander John “Jock” Moffat RN (Retired) that has been widely reported in the national press and other media. His prowess as the pilot of a Royal Navy Swordfish torpedo attack aircraft and his part with Force ‘H’ is well documented.

HAA members who attended the 2009 Annual Symposium at the RAF Museum Hendon will recall the personal account Jock gave to the assembled delegates of his attack on the Bismarck on the 26th May 1941. His personal description of that attack held the audience spellbound throughout. After his presentation Jock revealed that it was the first occasion he had described his part in the attack on the Bismarck to an assembled audience. He said he was more afraid standing on the stage telling his story, than when he was flying his Swordfish that day in the Atlantic being fired upon by the Bismarck gunners.

Lesser known was the technique he decided to use when flying away from the Bismarck’s guns following the release of his torpedo. His description of how he kept the wings as level as possible and used his aircraft rudder to perform a flat skidding turn through 180 degrees was considered by all to be a brilliant piece of airmanship and flying skill when under fire.

Also lesser known is that Jock Moffat after the war achieved an ambition to go to university. He gained a business degree with a diploma in hotel management which then became his lifelong career. However in his sixties Jock took up flying again becoming a very popular instructor at Perth Scone Flying Club.

The HAA was indeed honoured to have the Fleet Air Arm pilot who helped sink the Bismarck as their key speaker in 2009. The Association is today saddened that Lt Cdr Jock Moffat, another great aviator has passed on and we extend our condolences to his family and friends who he leaves behind.


Commander Sue Eagles sets the scene

John Moffatt making a point during his talk. After taking off from the Ark Royal to attack the Bismark