|Pilot F/O Robert Mathieson Green, 3661 (survived) Gayndah, QLD
2nd Pilot / Navigator Sgt William Francis Richards, 408113 (survived) Bendigo, VIC
WAG Sgt Jack Prider, 3407375 (survived) Bordertown, SA
WAG Sgt. Ross Duncan McCallum, 416046 (survived) Millicent, SA
Ditched January 24, 1942 at 10:50pm
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 6035. Delivered to the U. S. Army on September 13, 1942 as A-28-LO serial number 41-23176. Disassembled and shipped overseas as part of Defense Aid on October 10, 1941.
On December 5, 1941 delivered
to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Hudson Mark IVa serial number A16-106. Reassembled by 2 Air Depot (2 AD) and flight tested on December 15, 1941. Assigned to 6 Squadron on December 28, 1941. The next day, assigned to 1 AD. On December 31, 1941 assigned to 2 AD to be fitted with a Boulton Paul Turret. Afterwards, returned to 6 Squadron on January 3, 1942. Nicknamed "Tit Willow".
On January 24, 1942 took off from Salamaua Airfield at 4:00pm on a solo reconnaissance of Rabaul to determine the strength of the Japanese Naval forces in the vicinity. At dusk, this Hudson was over Simpson Harbor and experienced heavy anti-aircraft fire that caused minor damage. Returning, the crew became lost and ran low on fuel. At 9:40pm, the crew made a plain language radio message stating they crew were abandoning the aircraft. At 10:50pm ditched off Gira Point, south of a village near the Mambare River, roughly 80 miles south of Salamaua and northwest of Cape Ward Hunt. Officially, this Hudson was stricken from charge on February 19, 1942.
Fates of the Crew
The entire crew survived the ditching unhurt and were divided into two groups: F/O Green and Sgt Prider the second group included Sgt Richards and Sgt McCallum.
On January 25, 1942 Green and Prider found a group of natives who led them roughly 20 miles away to Duvira Mission where they met Anglican missionary Reverend Gill.
On January 26, 1942 the same natives accompanied Sgt Richards and Sgt McCallum to Duvira Mission. After resting for three days, the crew traveled up the Mambare River on January 29, 1942 and arrived at Ioma on February 1, 1942 and were evacuated on DH.83 Fox Moth VH-UUS that took off from Ioma Airfield and flew them back to Port Moresby.
Afterwards, Green and Prider traveled up the Mambare River to Ioma and on February 20, 1942 both were to be evacuated on DH.83 Fox Moth piloted by Hemsworth but the aircraft was badly damaged on take off. Both were later rescued and returned to duty.
On March 10, 1942 Sgt Prider along with civilian S. Barker, a dentist and miner from Wau were guided by natives began trekking to Kokoda Airfield where a plane was scheduled to picked them up. Meanwhile, the aircraft scheduled to pick them up, Ford Trimotor VH-UDY was destroyed by strafing at 7-Mile Drome on March 13, 1942.
This loss caused a change of orders for Sgt Prider’s party then only five miles from Kokoda where they were scheduled to be picked up on March 14, 1942. Instead, the group backtracked towards Buna and Sangara Plantation (south of Popondetta) and joined the crew of B-17E 41-2446 (aka "Swamp Ghost") on their way to the same destination. After a Japanese seaplane landed at Buna on March 10, 1942, the combined group instead diverted to Oro Bay and boarded the MV Elevala that traveled via Tufi, Dogura and Samarai Island. After a three day stop, they boarded MV Matoma and returned via Abau Island to Port Moresby arriving on April 1, 1942. In total, it took Sgt Prider 66 days to return to duty.
ADF Serials - Hudson A16-106
RAAF Hudsons Part 2 - The Lockheed File - Hudson A16-106
Letters from the Papuan Bush 1942-1946 page 305
Footnote 84: R Gill Diary 25 Jan 1942 “Of course I am staying here.”
Footnote 85: R Gill Diary 25-28 Jan 1942 "It was that very same day that the crew of an RAAF plane that had crashed at Morobe arrived at Duvira, on their way for Ioma. The crew, Lieutenant [Sgt] McAllum, and Sergeants Sicca [F/O Green], Pride [Prider] and Richards, stayed with Romney for a few days and when they left they donated to Romney their silk parachutes which Bernard [?] made into pyjamas."
The New Guinea Diaries of Philip Strong: 1939-1945 Edited by David Wetherell page 87
"3 March 1942 - Duvira - Mamba Region, New Guinea - [Anglican Missionary Romney Gill] had recently had some RAAF men with him -- their plane had come down near Gira Point. One of them had a bad head -- Jack Pryde. They spent 3-4 days with him and he looked after them. Then they went on to Ioma -- Pryde still remains at Ioma. Romney had salvaged some of the 'plane gear, but all weapons and ammunition were disposed of at the bottom of the sea. The air men gave him a silk parachute and out of it is making a pair of pyjamas and is sending another down to Dogura for the ladies..."
World War II Nominal Roll -
Robert Mathieson Green
World War II Nominal Roll - William Francis Richards
World War II Nominal Roll - Jack Prider
World War II Nominal Roll - Ross Duncan McCallum
Thanks to Luca Ruffato, David Vincent and Edward Rogers for additional information
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November 8, 2018