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  TBF-1C Avenger Serial Number NZ2521  
31 Squadron

Former Assignements
30 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
RNZAF 1944

Pilot  Sergeant William Alan Trolove, 4211654 (MIA / KIA) Christchurch, Canterbury
Crew  F/Sgt Malcolm Alexander Bruford Harsant, 422066 (MIA / KIA) Cambridge, Auckland
Crew  F/Sgt Sergeant Frank Harry Brown, 425132 (KIA) Auckland

Crashed  May 31, 1944 at 11:00

Aircraft History
Built by Grumman as a model G-40. Constructors Number 5574. Assigned United States Navy (USN) as TBF-1C Avenger bureau number 47808. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Schenectedy and shipped across the Pacific as part of lend-lease to New Zealand.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Avenger serial number NZ2521. Reassembled by No. 1 Aircraft Depot, Hobsonville and BOC December 15, 1943 with Unit 36 at Hobsonville Airfield. Assigned to 30 Squadron at Gisborne.

On January 24, 1944 departed from Gisborne on ferry flight to Espiritu Santo. Assigned to 31 Squadron.

Wartime History
On May 31, 1944 took off from Piva North Airfield (Piva Uncle) on Bougainville on a bombing mission over Rabaul. While on the bombing run, this Avenger was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed near Talili Bay at 11:00 hours. When this Avenger failed to return, the crew were declared Missing In Action (MIA) and the aircraft was written off books at Bougainville.

The entire crew was officially declared dead on the day of the mission. All three are memorialized on Bourail Memorial. Harsant and Brown on panel 6 and Trolove on panel 8.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - TBF-1C Avenger 47808
"47808 (MSN 5574) to New Zealand Dec 1943 as NZ2521. Crashed near Rabaul after being hit by flak during a bombing run May 31, 1944."
RNZAF Serials - Avenger NZ2521
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) - William Alan Trolove
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) - Malcolm Alexander Bruford Harsant
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) - Frank Harry Brown

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Last Updated
January 12, 2019


Tech Info

3 Missing

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