Mark Reichman 2007
|Pilot F/Lt Kenneth James Erwin, 261863 (MIA / KIA) Leichhardt, NSW
Crew P/O Eric Lyle McLauchlan, 405644 (MIA / KIA) Northgate, QLD
Crew Sgt James Watt Simpson, 400570 (MIA / KIA) Albert Park, VIC
Crew Sgt Ian Munro Barwick, 5810 (MIA / KIA) Parramatta, NSW
Crashed March 4, 1942
Constructor Number 6094. USAAF Serial Number 41-23277.
Shipped to Australia and delivered to the RAAF as RA-29 on September 27, 1941. Assigned to the 2nd Air Depot on January 8, 1942. Assigned to 23 Squadron on January 24, 1942. Then, to assigned to 32 Squadron on February 23, 1942.
On March 3rd at 20:30 this Hudson was one of five that took off from 7-Mile Drome on a night bombing mission over Gasmata Airfield.
It was initially believed this Hudson may have tried to fly through a tropical storm and might have crashed onto New Britain. In fact, this aircraft reached the target and crashed onto Urai Island off Gasmata. Also lost was Hudson A16-101.
During 1946, a RAAF Searcher Team led by S/L Keith Rundle located the wreckage of this Hudson on Urai Island near Gasmata and recovered the remains of the crew.
On May 6, 2007, Mark Reichman visited the wreck site of a Hudson on Avurai Island. Based on the type of engine - GR1820-G205A - the wreck was determined to be a Hudson Mark III, and most likely the wreck of A16-165.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission.
After the recovery of remains, the entire crew was buried at Bita Paka War Cemetery. Erwin at H. B. 16. McLauchlan at F. C. 10. Simpson at F. C. 9.
Barwick at F. C. 8.
RAAFDB - Lockheed Hudson Mk. III A16-165
ADF Serials - Hudson A16-165
CWGC - Kenneth James Erwin
CWGC - Eric Lyle McLauchlan
CWGC - James Watt Simpson
Ian Munro Barwick
Thanks to Mark Reichman and Daniel Leahy for additional information
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May 3, 2016