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|Pilot F/Lt Paul Pryde Paterson, 260515 (MIA / KIA) Ormond, VIC
Co-Pilot F/O James Sinclair McIntyre, 402995 (MIA / KIA) Maclean, NSW
Crew Sgt Oliver Frederick George Claxton, 400552 (MIA / KIA) Harwood Island, NSW
Crew LAC James Arthur Wilson, 4164 (MIA / KIA) Bondi, NSW
Crashed January 19, 1942
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 6074. On September 24, 1941 delivered to the U. S. Army AIr Force (USAAF) as serial number 41-23215. Disassembled and shipped oversea to Australia.
On December 26, 1941 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Hudson A16-145. Reassembled by 1 Air Depot (1 AD). On January 3, 1942 test flown. On January 12, 1942 assigned to No. 4 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On January 18, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by Peterson on a flight via Lae to Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul, then took off again and flew to either Lae Airfield or Salamau Airfield.
On January 19, 1942 took off from Lae Airfield or Salamau Airfield on a mission via Kavieng bound for Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul. This Hudson failed to return and was declared Missing In Action (MIA).
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the Rabaul Memorial at Bitapaka War Cemetery (Rabaul War Cemetery). Paterson and McIntyre on panel 34. Claxton and Wilson on panel 36.
Alan Capp (nephew of McIntyre) adds:
"I am the nephew of F/O James Sinclair McIntyre S/N 402995 who went missing in No 24 Squadron Hudson A16-145 on 19 January 1942 in the New Britain / New Ireland vicinity. I have spent the last two years, off and on, trying to piece together what occurred on that day. I have researched available information through National Archives and other sources including authoritative books on this wartime theatre. As a result I have concluded that, while there is no way of determining exactly what happened, there are several discrepancies in the narrative to date. I have written up my findings in the form of a small, non-commercial, booklet (using self-publishing software) for limited distribution – essentially for family and for others interested in this research. The attached précis covers the gist of it.
First, the flight was not a delivery flight from Townsville as is often repeated. From the RAAF Port Moresby Operations Record Book it is clear that A16-145 had arrived in Rabaul on 18 January 1942. Second, it is unclear whether the aircraft subsequently flew to Lae or to Salamaua. Also, from the records, it is uncertain when it left Lae (or Salamaua) and whether it was heading for Rabaul directly or via Kavieng in bad weather. Either way it was probably in daylight as usual for reconnaissance flights. In the circumstances prevailing at that time the likelihood of it staying around Lae (or Salamaua) until late in the evening of 18 January 1942 is low. Even more unlikely is that it would wait a whole day until the evening of 19 January 1942 before setting out on its final flight.
Either of these tracks puts A16-145 in quite close proximity to the where the Japanese carriers were positioning. The possibility (however remote) therefore is that it encountered the IJN First Carrier Division CAP.
In light of what I have been able to find out it is most likely that bad weather was the cause of the loss of this aircraft as severe storm activity is a consistent theme in the surviving records. Mechanical malfunction cannot be ruled out although there is no evidence of this. An outside chance (again, without supporting evidence) is that it was shot down. We will only know for certain when (and if) it is discovered in, most probably, the sea between Lae/Salamaua and Rabaul / Kavieng."
RAAF Port Moresby Operations Record Book - 18 January 1942
"A flight by Hudson aircraft A16-145 of 24 squadron Cpt. F/Lt. P. P. Paterson (515) from Moresby to Lae via Rabaul. The aircraft was airborne Moresby 0245z/18 landing Rabaul 0550z/18 and Airborne Rabaul 0630z/18. There were nil sightings."
RAAF Casualty Card - Hudson A16-145 "Lost over the Kabu River, New Guinea."
ADF Serials - Hudson A16-145
CWGC - Paul Pryde Paterson
CWGC - James Sinclair McIntyre
CWGC - Oliver Frederick George Claxton
CWGC - James Arthur Wilson
RAAFDB - Lockheed Hudson Mk. IV A16-145
RAAFDB - Paul Pryde Paterson
RAAFDB - James Sinclair McIntyre
RAAFDB - Oliver Frederick George Claxton
RAAFDB - James Arthur Wilson
A16-145 - Précis by Alan Capp
Lost: Uncle Jim's Short War by Alan Capp May 2014
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February 11, 2021
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