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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
Built by Lockheed in Burbank, California. Constructor Number 3834. Purchased by the United Kingdom and assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number V9249. Disassembled and loaded aboard Waiotapu as cargo and shipped across the Pacific to New Zealand.
On February 25, 1942 assigned to 4 Squadron at Suva Airfield (Nausori) on Fiji. On July 19, 1942 assigned to 9 Squadron at Plaine de Gaiacs Airfield on New Caledonia. Finally, assigned to 3 Squadron based at Henderson Field (Bomber 1) on Guadalcanal. No known nickname or nose art.
On July 24, 1943 during the afternoon took off from Henderson Field (Bomber 1) on Guadalcanal piloted by F/Lt William George Clifford Allison on a patrol mission between New Georgia and Bougainville. Earlier in the afternoon, this same crew took off aboard Hudson NZ2027 but aborted the mission due to a defective Identification Friend or Foe (IFF). 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 A6M2 Zeros attacked this Hudson. Firing at the attackers, tail gunner 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. This Hudson was officially written off on August 23, 1943.
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 on August 30, 1943. Afterwards, he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM). Because the Zero shoot down could not be confirmed, it is recorded as a 'probable' in the official records.
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