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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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Fleet Air Arm Crest
10.08.1943 No. 759 Squadron Sea Hurricane Z4550 Sub.Lt. John A. Brown

Operation: Training

Date: 10th August 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 759 Squadron FAA

Type: Sea Hurricane IB

Serial: Z4550

Code: Not known

Base: HMS Heron - Yeovilton, Somerset

Location: Bristol Channel

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


During practice landing training on, understood to be HMS Pursuer, a former USA ship named USS St. George but assigned to United Kingdom under the Lend-Lease agreement and renamed on the 24th February 1942. The pilot suddenly dropped out of formation whilst flying in a formation of three.

Crashed in the Bristol Channel at about 09:15 hrs north of Lilstock. The Hurricane was not seen to descend but a Royal Observer Corp member noticed the splash and immediately alerted rescue services - no trace of the pilot was found or the aircraft - simply a patch of oil on the surface. It was 10 days before the body of the pilot was recovered from the sea near Clevedon, buried later the same day.

Sadly the family also suffered the loss of his older brother. Fl/Lt. George Brown NZ/413374 RNZAF was listed as missing on the 06th August 1944. Pilot of 51 Squadron Halifax III LM546 MH-R on an operation to Hazebrouck when the complete crew were lost without trace.

Burial details:

Sub.Lt. (A) John Atkinson Brown. Bristol Cemetery (Arnos Vale). Sec. TTT. Grave 954. Son of George and Jane Brown, of Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 30.11.2017

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', 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: 02 December 2017, 00:23

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