Flying Officer [Pilot]

Ian Thomas Findlay

Additional Information: 

Son of James L. Findlay and of Ruby V. Findlay (nee Finch), of Wellington City, New Zealand.

  • CWGC

Biographical Notes:

Ian Findlay was the son of Air Commodore James Lloyd Findlay, a New Zealand soldier and air force officer who served in both world wars.

His father had been in England, studying, at the outbreak of WW1 and enlisted in the East Surrey regiment. He fought at the Battle of Loos and at the Somme. He joined the Royal Flying Corps, where he remained until 1921.

In 1923, he was one of the first officers to enlist in the New Zealand Permanent Air Force and commanded Base Wigram from 1926 to 1938.

Attached to the RAF at the beginning of WW2, he commanded 48 Squadron and RAF Hooton Park until recalled to New Zealand. After service at the New Zealand Air Department as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff he was appointed Air Officer Commanding Central Group in September 1942. Findlay was subsequently posted as New Zealand Head of the Joint Staff Mission and RNZAF Representative to Combined Chiefs of Staff, Washington DC, USA. He was appointed C.B.E. in the 1944 King's Birthday honours, and for his services in the United States he was awarded the United States Legion of Merit on 7 November 1946.

His uncle, Ian Calcutt Findlay, James’ brother, died of wounds serving with the York and Lancaster regiment in WW1 and is buried in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery and another uncle Major John Wilfred Findlay, served with the Machine Gun Corps and was wounded at the Somme. John died in the USA in 1951.


His grandfather was Sir John George Findlay, KCMG KC (21 October 1862 – 7 December 1929) a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party, and was a Cabinet minister from 1906 to 1911.


Public Contributions:

There are no public contributions written for this casualty

Personal Tributes:


Service Number: 
Ian Thomas Findlay
Flying Officer
Additional Rank:
Date of Birth:
Not known
Date of Enlistment:
Not known
Armed Force: 
Air Force
Royal New Zealand Air Force, 241 (RAF). Squadron

Casualty Details

Cause of Death:
Not known
Date of Death:
12 January 1944
Day of Death:
Age at Death: 

Embarkation Details

Embarkation Body:
Royal New Zealand Air Force

Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum


Cemetery Reference: 
8. C. 1.
Cemetery Location: 
Ian Thomas Findlay
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