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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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F A A Crest
10.08.1943 No. 759 Squadron Sea Hurricane Z4550 Sub.Lt. Brown

Operation: Training

Date: 10th August 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 759 Squadron Fleet Air Arm

Type: Sea Hurricane Ib

Serial: Z4550

Code: -

Base: HMS Herron, Yeovilton, Somerset

Location: Bristol Channel

Pilot: Sub/Lt. (A) John Atkinson Brown RNZNVR Age 22. Killed


During deck landing training on what is thought to be HMS Pursuer Z4550 broke formation when flying as the last of three in line astern under cloud and at about 09:15 hrs crashed into the channel north if Lilstock.

A member of the Royal Observer Corps seeing the splash called the air sea rescue. But despite searching all that they could find only a patch of oil.

Ten days later the body of the New Zealand pilot was washed up near Clevedon and buried the same day.

Burial and personal details:

Sub/Lt. (A) John Atkinson Brown. Bristol Cemetery (Arnos Vale). Sec. TTT. Grave 954. Born on the 30th August 1920 at Piopio. A teacher prior to service. Enlisted on the 02nd April 1943. Awarded his pilots badge and commissioned on the 05th March 1942. Son of George and Jane Brown (née Atkinson), of Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand. His brother 25 year old, Fl/Lt. George Brown NZ/413374 RNZAF was killed on the 06th August 1944. Further details here.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 10-03-2021

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 15 April 2021, 13:05

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