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Frank Norman Hitchcock


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Frank Norman AWMM
  • Surname
    Hitchcock AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII NZ4310172 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • 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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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    WW2 POW - Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Weimar, Germany AWMM
    29 August 1944 AWMM
    Shot down while torpedo bombing, survived ditching of Beaufighter aircraft, rescued by German submarine and marched through snow to Buchenwald POW camp. AWMM
  • 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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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of Grace Wells. His mother was the niece of H.G. Wells.

    Husband of Margaret (nee Grant); father of Jim, Kathryn, Christine. Later the partner of Dawn.

    Attended Dilworth School and then Auckland University

    Naval airman for Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy, flying Beaufighter bombers

    Prisoner of War, he escaped on bicycle. Hospitalised in Scotland weighting just 45 kilograms he married his nurse Margaret Grant

    President of New Lynn RSA and awarded NZ Gold Star for exemplary service

    Member of the 'Goldfish Club' on the 29th August 1944, at approximately 6pm, the crew from the 489 Squadron attacked a German Convoy with torpedos in the vicinity of Heligoland, they were hit in the port engine by flak and on fire, which forced the crew to belly-flop into the water. Both Flight Sergeant Hitchcock and Warrant Officer Clive Lyell got into the dinghy and spent eight hours in the water before being picked up by the German Navy and imprisioned in Heligoland, and then trasferred to an interrogation camp. In his ditching details for the Goldfish Club, Hitchcock wrote:
    "The beufighter had two very large Bristol Engines and sank very quickly in a few seconds. We were lucky (a) The sea put out the fire (b) It was very calm and my pilot made a perfect ditching (c) The dinghy popped out of the fuselage immediately on hitting the water (d) the weather was calm and warm and we suffered no discomforts." (Goldfish Club) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    11 March 2009 AWMM
    Age 92 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Onetangi Cemetery, Onetangi Road, Waiheke Island, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 13,14,16 March 2009 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Burrowes, D.M. (Ed.). (2006). 489: an unofficial history of No. 489 Torpedo Bomber Squadron, RNZAF, 1941 to 1945. Nelson, N.Z.: D.M. Burrowes. AWMM
      below pp. 102-3, 263, 242 AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      Vol. 3, p. 590 [ref. 38] AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 16 March 2009 AWMM
    • Goldfish Club, New Zealand Branch. The Goldfish Club: Roll of Honour 1954 - 2003. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2004/32. AWMM

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