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  Lochkeed Hudson Mark III Serial Number NZ2033  
3 Squadron

Former Assignments
1 AD
1 GR

Pilot  F/L Wilfred Opawa Rutherford, 1299 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
Co-Pilot  F/O Vivian Roberts Eady, 413828 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
Crew  Sgt Lisle Gordon Smith, 412754 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
Crew  Sgt William Clement Lankshear, 413262 (MIA / KIA) Wellington, NZ
Crew  Sgt John Robert McDougall, 413765 (MIA / KIA) Southland, NZ

Crashed  July 7, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 3856. Previously AE501 from British Purchasing Mission contracts. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard Manuel across the Pacific to New Zealand.

Wartime History
On October 29, 1941 assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Hudson serial number NZ2033. Reassembled by No.1 Aircraft Depot at Hobsonville Airfield. Next, assigned to 1 GR Squadron at Whenuapai Airfield. Finally, assigned to 3 Squadron at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.

Mission History
On July 7, 1943 took off from Henderson Field at 5:15pm on a flare dropping mission for three TBF Avengers over the Kahili to Buin area of southern Bougainville.  The operation required 12-15 flares to be dropped across Tonolei Harbor at 500 yard intervals, with a further 4 flares dropped off Vella Lavella during the return flight to assist Avengers pilots to find their way home.

One of the American pilots later reported the Hudson had dropped about 12 flares over Tonolei Harbor at 7:45pm, as arranged, but nothing further was heard or seen of the aircraft. When this aircraft failed to return the crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). This aircraft was officially written off on August 23, 1943 at Guadalcanal.

In fact, this Hudson was intercepted by a J1N1 Irving night fighter piloted by Shigetoshi Kudo on an evening patrol from Ballale Airfield. Firing at this Hudson from behind and above, the night fighter fired his two downward angled 20mm cannons. Damaged, the Hudson quickly caught fire and crashed over western Shortland Island. There were no survivors.

The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. All five are commemorated at the Bourail Memorial on New Caledonia. Rutherford on panel 3. Eady on panel 4. Smith, Lankshear and McDougall on panel 7.

Kodochosho, 251 Kōkūtai, July 7, 1943
CWGC - Wilfred Opawa Rutherford
CWGC - Vivian Roberts Eady
CWGC - Lisle Gordon Smith
CWGC - William Clement Lankshear
CWGC - John Robert McDougall
Moonlight Interceptor, page 40
ADF Serials - Hudson NZ2033
Thanks to John Douglas for additional information information.

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Info

Tech Info
5 Missing

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