Air Marshal Sir John Rowlands GC
(September 23, 1915 – June 4, 2006) was a Welsh Royal Air Force
officer who was awarded the George Cross
for his work in bomb disposal
and later worked in the development of Britain's nuclear weapons
Rowlands was born in Hawarden
and was educated at the local Hawarden Grammar School. He took a degree in Physics at the University of Wales
, where he captained the university football side and was in the tennis team.
At the outbreak of World War II, Rowlands joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve
. After undertaking pilot training at RAF Ternhill
and gaining his pilots wings, he trained in armament engineering
at RAF Manby
in Lincolnshire. He was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer
in the Technical Branch on 7 October 1940 and Flight Lieutenant
on 1 December 1941.
The citation for his George Cross declared:<blockquote>The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the GEORGE CROSS to:Acting Wing Commander John Samuel Rowlands, M.B.E. (73378), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.For over 2 years, Wing Commander Rowlands has been employed on bomb disposal duties and has repeatedly displayed the most conspicuous courage and unselfish devotion to duty in circumstances of great personal danger.He was invested with the GC by King George VI