Sir John William Alcock KBE DSC (5 November, 1892 – 18 December 1919) was a Captain in the Royal Air Force who, together with navigator Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown, piloted the first non-stop transatlantic flight from St. John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Connemara, Ireland.
Alcock was born in 1892 at Seymour Grove, Old Trafford, England. He attended St Thomas's primary school in Heaton Chapel, Stockport. He first became interested in flying at the age of seventeen. In 1910 he became an assistant Charles Fletcher, an early Manchester aviator, and accompanied him to Brooklands, where he remained, gaining his pilot's licence there in November 1912. By summer 1914 he was proficient enough to compete in a Hendon-Birmingham-Manchester and return air race, flying a Farman biplane. He landed at Trafford Park Aerodrome and flew back to Hendon the same day.
Alcock became an experienced military pilot during World War I with the Royal Naval Air Service, though he was shot down during a bombing raid, and taken prisoner in Turkey. While stationed at Moudros, he conceived of and built a fighter aircraft out of the remains of other crashed aircraft. This came to be known as the Alcock Scout. For his actions just before he was shot down Alcock was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Flt. Lieut. John William Alcock, R.N.A.S. (now prisoner). For the great skill, judgement and dash displayed by him off Moudros on the 30th September, 1917, in a successful attack on three enemy seaplanes, two of which were brought down in the sea.