Service Personnel
Flight Lieutenant
MATHEW ANDREW BROWNE Territorial Air Force RNZAF No 134334
Territorial Air Force RNZAF No 134334
Air traffic Controller Ohakea 1970 – 1982
until retiring as Chief Air Traffic Controller Napier in 1987- 88
There have been two ATCs in Matt’s life, beginning in WW11 as a foundation member
OF No 1 Wellington Squadron Air Training Corps (The ATC ), and later in life as an Air Traffic Controller.)
Joining the Air Training Corps in 1943 No 1 sqn at the age of sixteen,
Matt attained the rank of Warrant Officer and had plans to train as a pilot
with the training programs available to selected ATC Cadets through WW2
and for them to then eventually move on to the regular intakes for aircrew,
training at the various RNZAF Bases and stations in operation at that time,
as many other ATC Cadets had moved on into through WW11.

On way to ATC Camp
(possibly Ohakea?)
No 1 Squadron No 1 flight on parade Buckle St,
W/O Andy King front W/O Matt Browne behind.
(circ 1948)
Unfortunately for Matt ‘ the world ran out of war’ and the ATC Aircrew intake scheme
abruptly came to an end and disappointed many potential future pilots and aircrews along
with those choosing the other opportunities for specialist training in the RNZAF.
No 1 Squadron Dinner Church Hall Buick St
(there are about 20 names, we will add later )
No 1 Wellington ATC Squadron Cadets on the March through Wellington.
He joined the Wellington Aero Club and gained his “wings” through the ATC flying training scheme which was formed
after WW11 learning to fly in that ultimate pilot training area in New Zealand!! Providing special ‘exciting‘ flying conditions.
Matt on leaving St Patrick’s College at Silverstream took on an
apprenticeship as a fitter and turner, through this time he also
attended Wellington Technical College night classes for 4 years.

Training Harvards Ohakea Circ 1954
With aviation still in mind he joined what was to become the other ‘ATC’in his life, a two year course
training as an Air Traffic Controller in Wellington ( where he met his wife Beryl ).
He returned to The Air Training Corps with a commission
as a Pilot officer RNZAF Central Reserve Wing until 1955.
Completing his basic training, he was appointed to the
Paraparaumu ‘Tower’ ( Wellington’s only airport at that time ).

Circ 1954 Ohakea Control Tower
From a DH Rapide.
W/O Mathew Browne about to be
presented with a Sqn Trophy
W/O Mathew Browne presented
with Sqn Trophy
So a long career in Air Traffic Control began from Stout St Wellington,
to Paraparaumu – a four year appointment to Nandi in Fiji a period
at Palmerston North AT/Control and then twelve years service
with the Air Traffic movements RNZAF Base - Ohakea, where he
received his Commission as a Flight Lieutenant in the Territorial Airforce.
On leaving Ohakea he shifted with family to Napier where he became Chief Air Controller until his retirement in 1988
A life member of the Hawke’s Bay Cricket Umpires Committee, also serving as the Umpires delegate on the management
committee of the Hawke’s Bay cricket Association Matt Joined and became a member of our Aircraft Heritage Group
( HB ‘AHA’ as he called it ) right from our early beginnings, and gave considerable encouragement for us to
continue with our recordings of our WW11 service personnel, and always enjoyed our ‘Chat Days’.
As an Umpire and an Air Traffic Controller, both requiring
good judgement and instant decisive decisions !
Mathew Browne seemed to have these special skills,
all along with being a good family man with an
infectious sense of humour.