|Pilot Flight Lieutenant Melvin Roland Greenslade, 1225 (MIA / KIA) Dunedin, Otago
Crew Lieutenant John Craig Morrison, Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (MIA / KIA) Wellington
Crew Flight Sergeant William George Angus McCloud, 425766 (MIA / KIA) Cobden, Westland
Crashed May 28, 1944 at 9:50am
Built by Grumman as a model G-40. Constructors Number 5490. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as TBF-1C Avenger bureau number 47724. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard Royal Arrow and shipped across the Pacific as part of lend-lease to New Zealand.
During early January 1944 delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Avenger serial number NZ2530. On January 4, 1944 reassembled by No.1 Aircraft Depot at Hobsonville Airfield with Unit 36. On April 26, 1944 Assigned to 30 Squadron. Next, assigned to 31 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On May 28, 1944 took off from Piva North Airfield (Piva Uncle) on Bougainville piloted by Flight Lieutenant Melvin R. Greenslade on a bombing mission against Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul.
Over the target, this Avenger was presumed to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire during the bomb run and crashed shortly after releasing its bombs. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
The entire crew was officially declared dead on the day of the mission. The two RNZAF crew members are memorialized on the Bourail Memorial. Greenslade on panel 3. McCloud on panel 6. Morrison is memorialized on the New Zealand Naval Memorial on panel 8.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - TBF-1C Avenger 47724
"47724 (MSN 5490) to New Zealand Jan 1944 as NZ2530. Presumed to have been hit by flak during a bombing run at Vunakanau on May 28, 1944. The aircraft crashed shortly after completing its bomb run."
RNZAF Serials - Avenger NZ2530
CWGC - Melvin Roland Greenslade
CWGC - John Craig Morrison
William George Angus McCloud
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January 12, 2019