Franciszek Dąbrowski was born on 17 April 1904 in Budapest, as a son of an officer and a Hungarian countess. In December 1937 he became the deputy commander of the Military Depot at Westerplatte. When the German attack started on 1 September 1939, he directed the defence with Major Sucharski. After the Stuka dive-bomber raid on 2 September, Dąbrowski persuaded Sucharski to carry on the defence, despite the steadily deteriorating situation, until 7 September.
After the War, Dąbrowski returned to military service in a battalion of the Navy in Gdańsk-New Port, across from Westerplatte. He was a founder of the Union of the Defenders of Westerplatte and initiated the creation of the cemetery for the fallen defenders. But due to the conditions in captivity Dąbrowski was in bad health. According to the communist government, his past and social origins were inappropriate, so he was removed from the army and fell into poverty. Only after the political thaw from 1956 onwards his situation improved. Dąbrowski took part in the first reunions of the defenders of Westerplatte. In 1957 he published Wspomnienia z obrony Westerplatte (Reminiscences of the defence of Westerplatte) expanding on a book he wrote immediately after the war. Franciszek Dąbrowski died in Cracow and was buried with military honours at the Rakowicki Cemetery.