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  Lockheed Hudson Mark III Serial Number NZ2021  
RNZAF
3 Squadron

Former Assignments
1 AD
1 Squadron
4 Squadron
9 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 in Burbank, California. Constructor Number 3834. Purchased by the United Kingdom and assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) as Hudson Mark III serial number V9249. Disassembled and loaded aboard Waiotapu as cargo and shipped across the Pacific to New Zealand.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Hudson Mark III serial number NZ2021. On September 29, 1941 BOC by Unit 1 and reassembled at No. 1 Aircraft Depot (1 AD) at Hobsonville Airfield. Next, assigned to 1 Squadron at Whenuapai Airfield.

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.

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 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:
"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 U. S. 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 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.

Memorials
The deceased crew members are memorialized at Burail Cemetery on the the Bourail Memorial. 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 pages 126 - 128
ADF Serials - Hudson NZ2021
Kiwi Air Power page 97

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Last Updated
August 10, 2018

 

Tech Info
Hudson

MIA
MIA
5 Missing
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