Topic: Francis Soltau Pillans (1914-1941)

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Tauranga man Francis Soltau Pillans was aboard a DH86 Aircraft when it plunged into the sea in 1941.

Francis Soltau Pillans (1914-1941)Francis Soltau Pillans was born in Tauranga on 21 November 1914. He spent four years at Tauranga District High School.

Before enlisting in the Air Force he had already gained his pilot's licence.

After training in Levin and Ohakea he gained his flying badge on 14 April 1941.

He was posted to Fiji as a Second Pilot aboard a DH86. He and the other pilot were killed when the plane suddenly plunged into the sea on 4 October 1941. 

Francis is remembered in Tauranga's Memorial Grove, two rows of totara trees located on Fifteenth Avenue which stand as a memorial to 41 former Tauranga District High School students killed during World War II (1939-1945).



Cenotaph Database

Reunion leads to hunt for war dead - research by Betty Eaton-Woodcock (Bay of Plenty Times, 25 April 2011, pp. 10-11).

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Francis Soltau Pillans (1914-1941)

Note:Service Number: 404940
First Names:Francis Soltau
Last Name:Pillans
Date of Birth:21 November 1914
Place of Birth:Tauranga
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:4 October 1941
Place of death:Nadi Bay, Suva, Fiji
Place of burial:Suva Military Cemetery, Fiji, Pacific Islands
Fathers name:William Soltau Pillans
Mothers name:Emily Pillans
Military Service:World War II (1939-1945)