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  Lockheed Hudson Mark III Serial Number NZ2021  
RNZAF
3 Squadron

Pilot  F/Lt William George Clifford Allison, 1222 (MIA / KIA)
Co-Pilot  P/O Frank Bevan Kerr, 424473 (MIA / KIA) Christchurch, NZ
Navigator  Sgt Ronald Graham Douglas, 413041 (MIA / KIA) Wellington, NZ
Gunner  Sgt James Henry Johnstone, 412916 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
Tail Gunner  Sgt Trevor Ganley (WIA, survived)
Passenger Lt Col. C. N. F. Bengough, C. O. BSIPDF / Resident Commissioner (MIA / KIA)

Ditched  July 24, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed. Constructor Number 3834. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number V9249. Assigned an unknown U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) serial number. Disassembled and shipped overseas to New Zealand.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Hudson NZ2021. Assigned to 3 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On July 24, 1943 at 1:00pm this crew took off aboard Hudson NZ2027 from Henderson Field (Bomber 1) on Guadalcanal on a patrol mission between New Georgia and Bougainville. After take off, the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) was defective, so they returned to base and changed aircraft.

On July 24, 1943 took off from Henderson Field (Bomber 1) on Guadalcanal in this aircraft (NZ2021) to complete their mission. Aboard was passenger Lt. Col. Bengough, C.O. of British Solomon Islands Protectorate Defense Force (BSIPDF) and Resident Commissioner.

The patrol was without incident until eight Zeros attacked this Hudson. Firing at the attackers, Sgt Ganley claimed one Zero shot down. Passenger Bengough was killed during their attack. Ganley was wounded in his hip, also shrapnel hit him the hand, arm and leg. Following this attack, the Hudson, kept flying for a further 40 miles despite regular attacks from the Zeros. Eventually the engines caught fire. Although on-board fire extinguishers put out the fires.

Damaged, this Hudson was forced to ditch, two miles west of Baga Island [Baanga or Mbava] off the west coast of Vella Lavella. All five crew escaped although three were wounded. The Japanese planes strafed the survivors for ten minutes. Afterwards, only Ganley was still alive.

Justin Taylan adds:
"I researched this mission at the Tokyo Defense Archives. According to Kodochosho (action report) for July 24, 1943 eight A6M Zeros from the Ryuhō Air Group took off from Buin Airfield (Kahili) on a patrol mission over Choiseul and Vella Lavella. Observing a Hudson, they attacked it and shot it down. Afterwards, all eight Zeros returned to Buin Airfield without loss."

Fates of the Crew
Ganley was wounded but swam four miles to a deserted island where he found an abandoned US life raft, with some chocolate "D" rations inside, and ate them with coconuts. He spent nine days on the island and repaired the raft, then paddled to Vella Lavella which was still occupied by the Japanese.

Found by armed locals, they asked him his nationality. When he replied New Zealand. One of them had been educated in New Zealand, and they agreed to hide him. Later, he contacted a coastwatcher, who treated his wounds and looked after him for a month. He was eventually picked up by a American PT Boat and returned to his squadron 37 days later. He was awarded a DFM. Because the Zero shoot down could not be confirmed, it is recorded as a 'probable' in the official records. The pilot was awarded a MID.

Memorials
The entire crew with the exception of Ganley were officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized at the Bourail Memorial at Burail Cemetery. Allison on panel 3. Kerr on panel 5. Douglas and Johnstone on panel 7. Bengough on panel 10. Allison was mentioned in dispatches.

References
Kodochosho Ryuhō Air Group July 24, 1943
CWGC - William George Clifford Allison
CWGC - Frank Bevan Kerr
CWGC - Ronald Graham Douglas
CWGC - James Henry Johnstone
CWGC - C. N. F. Bengough
Air to Air, page 126 - 128
ADF Serials - Hudson NZ2021
Kiwi Air Power, page 97

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Last Updated
March 20, 2017

 

Tech Info
Hudson

MIA
MIA
5 Missing

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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