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Stanley Franklin Browne

Portrait of Flight Lieutenant Stanley Franklin Browne, Auckland Weekly News, 10 October 1945. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19451010-26-10. Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Flight Lieutenant Stanley Franklin Browne, Auckland Weekly News, 10 October 1945. Sir Ge …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Stanley Franklin AWMM
  • Surname
    Browne AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Stan Public - Ian - Researcher - 11 October 2019 - Research
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ411853 AWMM
    • WWII 411853 AWMM
    • 130084 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    29 October 1919 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 23 March 1941 AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Fighter Ace credited with the destruction of 5 1/2 German aircraft. Member of the Catepillar, GQ and Late Arrivals Clubs. Commanding Officer of 485 (NZ) Squadron, July to August 1945. Source: Hanson, By Such Deeds, p.101.

    From Ian Pilkinton: "Born in Wellington on October 20 1919, Browne was a medical student before joining the RNZAF in March 1941. After completing his pilot training, he was posted to the United Kingdom where he joined the New Zealand fighter squadron, 485, at Kenley in early 1942.

    On May 31 the Squadron flew a sweep over northern France. Some thirty Focke Wulf 190's attacked the unit's Spitfires and Browne, after becoming separated from his section, was surrounded by German fighters. While taking avoiding action his engine was hit by a cannon shell and he dived out of the melee. With an overheating engine he levelled out in cloud several thousand feet lower and, anticipating fire, baled out, falling freely for some distance before opening his parachute. As he floated down Browne was circled by enemy fighters before they peeled off to land at their airfield nearby, sufficiently close for Browne to see them land.

    It was almost dusk when he landed in a field near Abbeville. No help was forthcoming from local peasants but a Frenchman who was visiting the area told Browne that if he could lay low until nightfall he would try to help. Carefully covering his entry tracks, Browne went into a rye field and lay down, his yellow lifejacket giving a certain amount of blend with the crop. German troops arrived on motor cycles to search surrounding woods and houses but rapidly approaching darkness made a search of the fields impractical.

    The friendly Frenchman returned and took Browne to a house in the village. When the Germans returned the next morning Browne - now in civilian clothes and pretending to be a simpleton - made his way past them to leave the village. Picked up again by helpers, he was eventually taken to a house in Arniens, to await false papers.

    With a British pilot, Browne travelled south by train to the border with Vichy France where, shortly after arrival they were arrested by the French authorities and interrogated. The two were then interned in a castle near the southern coast where Browne met fellow squadron member Garry Barnett.

    In early September Browne escaped from the castle and reached Marseille where he and Barnett, who had escaped on 23 August, joined eighty other escapees and were taken in a small fishing boat to Gibraltar, to from where they eventually sailed for Britain on 1 October in the battleship, HMS Malaya. Both men were offered the chance to return to New Zealand but elected to re join.

    In late January 1943 Browne was posted to the Middle East, joining 93 Squadron at Souk-el-Khemis in Tunisia. In April he destroyed two Bf 109's and damaged two others before the unit crossed to Malta in June 1943 to prepare for the invasion of Sicily. In July, during the invasion, Browne destroyed two Ju 88's, the second one during the course of intercepting a bomber force, escorted by Bf 109's, which was attacking Allied ships waiting to be unloaded. Following his victory Browne had to make a forced landing, thus becoming one of the first allied pilots to land in Sicily.

    Back on operations two days later, he shot down a Bf 109 near Augusta. After the Allied invasion of Italy in early September 1943 93 Squadron flew in support of the Army and during the Italian campaign Browne added two more Bf 109's to his tally.

    He was awarded the DFC and remained with 93 until early 1944, when he returned to England for a rest. In late 1944 Browne rejoined 485 Squadron as a flight commander. In June 1945 he was awarded a Bar to his DFC and took command of the Squadron which he led until its disbandment at Drope, Germany, on August 26 1945.

    After the war Stan Browne bought a farm out of Taumarunui and for a period of time taught at the Taumarunui High School." AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    2011 AWMM
  • Date of death
    January 15th, 2011 Public - Ian - Researcher - 11 October 2019 - Research
  • Age at death
    91 Public - Ian - Researcher - 11 October 2019 - Research
  • Place of death
    Tauranga Public - Ian - Researcher - 11 October 2019 - Research
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    Pyes Pa, Tauranga Public - Ian - Researcher - 11 October 2019 - Research
  • Grave reference
    Plot C25023 Public - Ian - Researcher - 11 October 2019 - Research
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      p.101 AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      p.599 AWMM
    • Atkinson, N. (2005). Hell or high water : New Zealand merchant seafarers remember the war. HarperCollins in association with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. AWMM
    • RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] - Historical Items - List of New Zealand Fighter aces with their Scores (Unofficial) December 1944. Archives New Zealand, Wellington (R17845799). AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
20 May 2020Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
11 October 2019IanTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher

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