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  Lockheed Hudson Mark I Serial Number A16-3 

Former Assignments
8 Squadron
23 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
RAAF July 29, 1941

Click For Enlargement
Hodgkinson 1942

Pilot  F/Lt Neville Gerald Hemsworth, RAAF 260417 (survived)
Observer  Sgt Albert Horace Rodd, RAAF 401835 (survived)
W/AG  F/Sgt Robert Raymond Bamber, RAAF 403250 (WIA, survived)
W/AG  F/Sgt Henry Raynor Stephens, RAAF 404304 (WIA, died December 27, 1942) Lilyfield, NSW
Passenger  Pte Walter Barney, AIF QX22505 (MIA / KIA, BNR)
Passenger  Pte Peter Bowen, AIF (survived)
Passenger  Pfc Elbert H. Ross, 35251322 U. S. Army, 32nd Infantry Division (MIA / KIA, BNR) Logansport, IN
Passenger  Unknown U.S. Army soldier (survived)

Crashed  December 26, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed as Hudson Mark I. Constructors Number 1779. This aircraft had two Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp SCE-Gs engines. Disassembled and shipped across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
On January 26, 1940 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Hudson A16-3. On January 22, 1942 the dorsal turret was removed for installation into Hudson A16-163.

Reassembled and test flown by March 29, 1940. Assigned to 8 Squadron. On April 1, 1940 assigned to 6 Squadron. On July 1, 1940 assigned to 23 Squadron with code T on the fuselage. The serial number was painted on the lower side of the wings in white, rear fuselage in black and outer tail fins in black.

On January 25, 1942 assigned to 1 Air Depot (1 AD). On February 16, 1942 assigned to 1 Operational Training Unit (1 OTU), On September 16, 1942 assigned to 5 Air Depot (5 AD) for installation of a Boulton Paul turret then returned to 1 OTU on October 5, 1942.

This Hudson was one of twelve known as "1 OTU Detached Flight" that were flown from Bairnsdale Airfield to 5 Mile Drome (Ward Drone) at Port Moresby. On December 14, 1942 begins combat operations transporting supplies that were air dropped at Soputa and later landing supplies and troops to Dobodura.

Mission History
On December 26, 1942 took off from 5 Mile Drome (Ward Drone) piloted by Hemsworth on a mission to transport soldiers to Dobodura No. 3. After landing safely, this Hudson embarked four wounded soliders on strechers for the return trip back to Port Moresby.

At 11:00am took off from Dobodura No. 3 piloted by Hemsworth on a flight bound for 5 Mile Drome (Wards Drone). Almost immediately, this Hudson was intercepted by Ki-43 Oscars from the 11th Sentai (misidentified as A6M Zeros) and chased southward to Hariko. This Hudson was hit by gunfire and set on fire causing it to ditch into Oro Bay at roughly 11:10am. Aboard on stretchers, Pte Barney and one unknown American or Australian soldier were killed by gun fire and went down with the aircraft as it sank. Bamber and Stephens were also wounded by gunfire. Afterwards, this action was depicted in a drawing "Hudsons over Oro Bay" by Roy Hodgkinson.

Fates of the Crew
After the crash, the survivors were rescued by U. S. Navy (USN) PT Boat and brought ashore. Two of the strecher cases, Ross and Barney were killed by gunfire in the air and are presumed to have gone down with the aircaft when it sank. Wounded, F/Sgt Stephens suffered gun shot wounds to the left posterior thorax and died of his wounds the next day.

Two of the crew remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Barney is commemorated on the Port Moresby Memorial at Bomana War Cemetery. Ross was officially declared dead on December 26, 1943. Ross was memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Ross also has a memorial marker at Mount Hope Cemetery in Logansport, IN. After he died on December 27, 1942 Stephens was initially buried at the war cemetery at Oro Bay and later permanently interred at Bomana War Cemetery at B5. C. 27.

Some sources list this aircraft as crashed into Oro Bay or Hariko Bay
RAAF Service Record - Neville G. Hemsworth (NAA: A9300, HEMSWORTH N G)
AIF Service Record Walter Barney (NAA: B883, QX22505)
CWGC - Henry Raynor Stephens
CWGC - Walter Barney
AWM "Hudsons over Oro Bay" by Roy Hodgkinson (ART21695)

ADF Serials - Hudson A16-3

RAAF DB - Hudson A16-3
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Elbert H. Ross date of death listed as December 26, 1943
FindAGrave - Elbert Hugh Ross (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Elbert H Ross (tablets of the missing)
Thanks to Edward Rogers and Daniel Leahy for their assistance with this profile

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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