25.10.1944 No. 30 OTU Hurricane IIc LF170 BT-P F/O. Adrian V. Browne
Operation: Air Test
Date: 25th October 1944 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 30 Operational Training Unit
Type: Hurricane IIc
Base: RAF Seighford, Staffordshire (satellite base of RAF Hixon)
Location: Edge of airfield at RAF Seighford
Pilot: F/O. Adrian Victor Browne AUS/403643 RAAF Age 26. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Seighford in Staffordshire at 14:40 hrs on an air test. Fifteen minutes later LF170 crashed into a tree near the Officers Mess, on the edge of the satellite airfield, killing the pilot.
F/O. Ward, the Duty Control Officer, later reported:
“I was on duty at 1445 hours in the Watch office at Seighford. I heard an aircraft approaching and I saw a Hurricane flying down the perimeter track at a height of 15/20 feet. It climbed and flew away in an easterly direction. Two more Hurricanes were in the circuit and I saw them climbing in the same direction. They were joined by the third aircraft, and I was of the opinion that they had then left the airfield.
A few minutes later my attention was drawn to a Hurricane making for the Watch Office from the east. It joined the other two aircraft and Q and V called up for permission to land, but the third aircraft “P” came past the east side of the Watch Office in a NNW direction at a height of 10 feet flew over the locker room but failed to clear the tree between the two hangars.
The port wing of the aircraft caught branches and a section of the wing was torn from the aircraft. The aircraft immediately turned on its back, and disappeared behind the trees. I called the fire tender and ambulance immediately.”
(information courtesy Bill Chorley)
Right: The sad state of the grave at Frankby Cemetery (courtesy Mike McQuaid)
The pilot had previously served with 87, 19, 276, 504 Squadrons. Trained on Tiger Moths, Magisters, Harvards, Lysanders, Hurricanes, Defiants and Spitfires.
F/O. Adrian Victor Browne, Wallasey Cemetery (Frankby). Sec. G. Grave 231. Born on the 09th April 1918 at Manly, New South Wales, the son of Montague Samuel Washington Browne and Elizabeth Ellene Browne of 10 Private Road, Northwood, Sydney, Australia. Husband of Edna Edith Browne, of 5 Briscoe Avenue, Moreton, Cheshire, England (married 21st August 1943). Prior to service worked as a saw miller.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Mike McQuaid who went Frankby Cemetery especially to take the photograph of his grave - August 2017, also to Bill Chorley, National Archives of Australia and sources as quoted below: