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  TBF-1C Avenger Serial Number NZ2521  
No. 31 Squadron

Former Assignments
No. 30 Squadron

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RNZAF 1944
Pilot  Sergeant William Alan Trolove, 4211654 (MIA / KIA) Christchurch, NZ
Crew  F/Sgt Malcolm Alexander Bruford Harsant, 422066 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
Crew  F/Sgt Sergeant Frank Harry Brown, 425132 (KIA) Auckland, NZ
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 Schenectady and shipped across the Pacific as part of defense aid to New Zealand.

Wartime History
During December 1943 assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Avenger serial number NZ2521. On December 15, 1943 reassembled by No. 1 Aircraft Depot (1 AD) and BOC with Unit 36 at Hobsonville Airfield. Assigned to 30 Squadron at Gisborne Airfield. On January 24, 1944 departed Gisborne Airfield on ferry flight to Espiritu Santo. Next, assigned to 31 Squadron and flown to Bougainville. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On May 31, 1944 took off from Piva North Airfield (Piva Uncle) on Bougainville piloted by Sgt William A. Trolove 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).

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All three are memorialized on Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery at the 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 25, 2021

Tech Info

3 Missing
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