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Geoffrey Bryson Fisken

Portrait of Flying Officer Geoffrey Bryson Fisken, Auckland Weekly News, 20 October 1943. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19431020-20-47. Image has no known copyright restrictions.
Portrait of Flying Officer Geoffrey Bryson Fisken, Auckland … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Geoffrey Bryson AWMM
  • Surname
    Fisken AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Geoff AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII NZ401556 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) AWMM
    21 September 1943 AWMM
    Citation: "During his tour of Guadalcanal, this officer shot down five enemy aircraft, four Zeros and one Mitsubishi bomber and also severely damaged another Zero. These successes were additional to his score of three [sic] enemy aircraft destroyed in the Malayan Campaign. This officer has shown outstanding keeness and ability." AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 16 March 1940 AWMM
    Age 25 AWMM
    Shepherd/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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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
    Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
    Wounded in arm by bullet and hip by a shell fragment, evacuated to New Zealand AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Rhoda

    Before the War he was a shepherd in the Wairarapa region.

    Flying Officer Fisken was the highest scoring British Commonwealth fighter pilot in the South Pacific. His record against the Japanese was 11 confirmed aerial victories and 5 probable victories.

    Several of his victories were against the famous Zero fighter. An aircraft of this type is on display in the Scars on the Heart Gallery, Level 2, Auckland War Memorial Museum

    He flew Brewster Buffalo and Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk fighters.

    The photograph in the Dominion Post shows Geoff Fisken alongside his P-40 fighter. The aircraft has a very fierce cat painted on the side together with the words "Wairarapa Wild Cat" and 11 miniature Japanese flags representing the number of enemy aircraft he had shot down

    In the Pacific, the RNZAF fought under the overall command of the American military forces. When Geoff Fisken shot down three Japanese aircraft over Guadalcanal in the Solomon lslands on 4 July 1943 he was given some whisky by the Americans for this achievement on American Independence Day. " They gave me five cases of Canadian Club whisky, in little bottles, so I put them in tents for the boys"

    Geoff Fisken is quoted in the Auckland War Memorial exhibition 'Kiwi Pilots in the Pacific' of 'Scars on the Heart', 'The Kittyhawk was an extremely rugged aeroplane..... your enemy could blast a lot of big holes in it but it would still get you home.'

    The Royal New Zealand Air force (RNZAF) was established in 1937. On the outbreak of war New Zealand's role was to provide trained air crew to serve with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and through the Empire Air Training Scheme trained 880 pilots a year plus more personnel. Japan's entry into the war forced the RNZAF to convert from an organisation designed to provide trained air crew for the RAF to a truly independent air force with its focus on the Pacific. In March 1943 No 1 (Islands) Group RNZAF established itself of Espiritu Santo, administering all the New Zealand units in the area. There were two fighter squadrons, the Nos 14 and 15 Squadron, forward on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands flying Kittyhawks, and one squadron on Espiritu Santo. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    11 June 2011 AWMM
    Age 96 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: Dominion Post, 18 June 2011 (photo)

    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 14 June 2011 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • Dominion Post AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      Vol. 3 ref 54 p. 593 AWMM
    • 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.138 AWMM
    • Air Force news. Wellington, N.Z.: Air Staff, New Zealand Defence Force. AWMM
      Obituary: Issue 127, July 2011, p25 AWMM
    • Dominion Post AWMM
      Obituary: 18 June 2011 (photo) AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: 14 June 2011 AWMM
    • New York Times AWMM


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13 May 2020Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
18 August 2017JeniferWairarapaResearcher
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