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|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
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:
Fates of the Crew
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.
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