Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  PV-1 Ventura Serial Number NZ4634  
RNZAF
1 Squadron

Pilot  Flight Lieutenant Dennis Hugh Hobbs, 404444 (KIA, BR) Canterbury, NZ
Crew  F/Sgt Frederick Dudley Murphy, 422427 (KIA, BR) Blenheim, NZ
Crew  Flight Lieutenant Robert Leslie Scarlett, 412905 (KIA, BR) Nelson, NZ
Crew  Warrant Officer Stanley Anzac Nuttall, 421285 (KIA, BR) Hawkes Bay, NZ
Crew  FSgt Gardiner (WIA, rescued)

Crashed  December 20, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed in Burbank, CA as Model 237-27-01. Constructor number 237-6396. Assigned U. S. Navy (USN) as bureau number 49580. Shipped disassembled to Hawaii. Reassembled on Oahu then shipped to New Zealand.
Flight Sergeant N. Gardiner injured.

Wartime History
On June 15, 1944 assigned to the to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Ventura NZ4634 and reassembled by Unit 45 at Hamilton Airfield. Assigned to No. 1 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 20, 1944 took off on a mission to drop supplies to Allied troops on Bougainville. When it failed to climb out of a valley, it stalled and crashed into a ridge near the Aita River. Four of the crew were killed in the crash. The sole survivor was FSgt Gardiner who suffered a broken leg.

Rescue
FSgt Gardiner was located and a radio message to send an aircraft to medivac him from Pusupa village. On December 26, 1944 the rescue aircraft Auster A11-16 piloted by F/O James A. Russell landed at Pusupa village but suffered a damaged propeller during the landing. Afterwards, a replacement propeller was air dropped in a storpedo but landed damaged.

On December 27, 1944, the aircraft was repaired with another replacement propeller air dropped and the aircraft was tested. Gardiner was loaded aboard in a strecher during the attempted take off, the aircraft failed to get airborne and crashed, neither the pilot nor Gardiner was injured.

On December 28, 1944 Russel, Gardiner escorted by Sgt Wigley and Sgt McEvoy plus ten native police and 30-40 carriers began walking back to base. Gardiner was carried in a stretcher for four days to the coast where they were met by a barge and transported to Torokina.

Memorials
The four crew killed in the crash were officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, they were permanently buried at Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery. Hobbs at 6. 26. Murphy at 6. 13. Scarlett at  6. 28. Nuttall at 6. 12.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - PV-1 Ventura 49580
ADF Serials - Ventura NZ4634
CWGC - Dennis Hugh Hobbs
CWGC - Frederick Dudley Murphy
CWGC - Robert Leslie Scarlett
CWGC - Stanley Anzac Nuttall

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech InfoPV-1
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram