Flight Sergeant Jack Perry
RAF Bomber Command, WWII
Jack Perry was an RAF flight engineer who joined up aged 18. Just a year later, Jack was in a Halifax Bomber service flight which exploded 300 feet off the ground. He suffered 80% burns to his hands, face and ears and was hospitalised first at North Allerton and later in Rauceby Hospital, Lincolnshire, where the plastic surgery centre was overseen by Archibald McIndoe, celebrated New Zealand surgeon.
After his medical discharge, Jack joined the Guinea Pig Club which was formed by RAF aircrew with severe burns to honor and remember the work of McIndoe. The club also existed to help others who suffered from severe burns, showing them that even through adversity a full life can be lived.
Jack was social secretary of the club for more than 40 years, organising trips, gala dinners, plaques and reuniting estranged guinea pigs at the events. He also worked as a draughtsman for Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell where he lived with his wife Mary. In January 2017 Jack was awarded an MBE for services to veterans. He died in August 2017.