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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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4 rnzaf
4 Squadron (NZ) Hudson III NZ2028 F/O. Donald Arthur Anderson

Operation: Transit

Date: 25th July 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 4 Squadron (NZ) (motto: 'Always attack')

Type: Hudson III

Serial: NZ2028

Code: YZ-?

Base: Nadi, Fiji

Location: As described

Pilot: F/O. Donald Arthur Anderson NZ/404324 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Clive Gaby Ibbotson NZ/411509 RNZAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Roland Harvey Winch Wybourne NZ/40805 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Mech: LAC. Arthur Norman Clayton NZ/402587 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed


Major/Gen. Owen Herbert Mead 50745 CBE. DSO. MiD (x3) New Zealand Infantry Age 50. Missing - believed killed

Lt. John Christie Leslie 8866 New Zealand Infantry Age 34. Missing - believed killed


Hudson NZ2028 took off from Nausori at 09:19 to deliver two Army officers to Tonga and failed to arrive when scheduled 3hrs 25mins later.

Late in the afternoon a message was received that NZ2028 had only an hour's fuel remaining and was lost owing to deteriorating weather. Contact was made with control at Tonga, who guided the Hudson to within a few miles of its destination. Unfortunately, the Hudson was confused by the American radar controller with US Navy aircraft from a carrier in the vicinity and failed to make a landfall.

The last contact was timed at 17:20 hrs. and the Hudson was believed to have ditched shortly afterwards south of Tonga, within 10 miles of the airfield. Despite extensive searches by aircraft and naval vessels no sign of it was found.

One of the passengers killed was Major General Owen Herbert Mead CBE, who was the highest-ranking New Zealander to be killed in the Pacific war, and was General Officer Commanding the Pacific Section of the 2nd NZEF.

Burial and other details:

F/O. Donald Arthur Anderson. Bourail Memorial. Panel 1. Born on the 13th May 1917 in Auckland. Education at the Mt. Albert Grammar School. Sales Manager for Grace Brothers Ltd., of Auckland. Enlisted at the Initial Training Wing, Levin, on the 24th November 1940 and proceeded on the 27th December to Whenuapai, for his elementary flying training; then on the 9th February 1941, to No. 1 Service Flying Training School, Wigram. Pilot badge awarded on the 20th March 1941 and commissioned on the 03rd May 1941. A total of 423 solo flying hours logged with 169 on the Hudson.

Son of Thomas Donald Anderson and of Helen May Anderson (nee Laurie). Husband of Bobbie Rose Anderson (née Winstone, later Hill - died 23rd June 2010. age 90), of 106 Paritai Drive, Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand.

F/O. Clive Gaby Ibbotson. Bourail Memorial. Panel 4. Born on the 11th November 1922 in Wellington. Educated at Wellington College. Employed as a clerk by the Union Bank of Australia Ltd. Enlisted at the Initial Training wing, Levin on the 02nd March 1941. Trained in Canada at No. 10 Service Plying Trainine School, Dauphin, Manitoba in June 1941. Obtained his Air-Observers Badge on the 12th August 1941. On September 28th he was posted to No. 6 Air Observers School, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Son of Cyril Arthur and Doris Aplin Ibbotson (née Gaby), of Auckland City, New Zealand.

Sgt. Roland Harvey Winch Wybourne. Bourail Memorial. Panel 8. Born at Waverley on the 16th October, 1920. Educated at the Waverley District High School. Employed as an exchange clerk in the Post & Telegraph Department, Waverley. Enlisted on the 15th March, 1940 at the Recruits Training School, Levin. Wireless operator air gunners' badge and promoted to Sergeant on the 01st December 1941. A total of 791 flying hours logged and completed 88 operational sorties flown.

Son of Roland David (died 13th May 1932, age 41) and Evelyn Kate Wybourne (née Winch - died 13th July 1972, age 82) of 'Sutton', Gloag Street, Waverley, Wellington, New Zealand.

LAC. Arthur Norman Clayton. Bourail Memorial. Panel 8 Born in Ngaruawahia on the 2nd June 1918. Educated at Hamilton Technical High School. Worked as a motor mechanic by Messrs. Wilkinson and Company Limited of Cambridge (motorcar garage). Enlisted at Hobsonville on the 19th July 1940,

Son of Arthur Harold Clayton and Jessamine Ellzabeth Claytonof, (née Hood), Cambridge, Auckland, New Zealand. Husband of Dorothy Ivy Clayton, of 65 Hannilton Road St. Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Major/Gen. Owen Herbert Mead. CBE. DSO. MiD. Bourail Memorial. Panel 1. Born on the 24th January 1892 in Dunedin, Enlisted on the 05th August 1914 in Canterbury. Son of Edward (died 23rd February 1933, age 80) and Flora Mead(died 09th February 1959, age 93). Husband of Barbara Mead (née Loughman - died 1982, age 83). Three times mentioned in despatches in the 1914-18 war.

DSO citation London Gazette, 3 June 1919:

'For gallantry and devotion to duty. Lieut-Colonel Mead has served continuously with the NZEF, since its inception in 1914, and throughout, proved himself to be a brave, reliable officer. He commanded his Battalion in the Passchendaele Operations, and also during the operations of the Division in the vicinity of Mailly Maillet from March 26th till June 21st 1918. On these occasions, the success of his Unit was in large measure due to his skilful leadership and personal example, which inspired all ranks under his command.

MiD X 3

1st MiD. citatio London Gazette, 4 January 1917

'This Officer did excellent work during the whole of the fighting round Flers from 18th to 26th September. He got his company forward well on each occasion and was unsparing in his efforts to get the best out of his men."

2nd MiD citation V:

'For distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty during the period 16th September 1918, to 15th March 1919.'

Lt. John Christie Leslie. Bourail Memorial. Panel 1. Born on he 03rd May 1907 in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. Worked as a Farmhand, Whangarei, Northland. Lt. Leslie first served with the 27th Battalion in the Middle East 1940-41. Then he embarked with the 35th Battalion to the Pacific and served as Aide de Camp to the General Officer Commanding 2 NZEF.

Son Of Thomas Christie Cyprus Leslie (Major RAMC) and Phoebe Ethel Maud Leslie. Husband of Clarice Dinah Leslie, of Los Angeles, California, USA.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, New Zealand Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, National Archive.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding accident losses

Pages detailing RNZAF losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 10-10-2023

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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