|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
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.
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.
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
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 12, 2019