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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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9 Squadron (NZ) PV-I Ventura NZ4530 F/O. Reginald Harold Mather

Operation: Special search

Date: 14th June 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 9 Squadron (NZ)

Type: PV-I Ventura

Serial: NZ4530

MSN: 5641

Base: Piva Bomber Strip, Bougainville, Solomon Islands

Location: South Pacific Ocean

Pilot: F/O. Reginald Harold Mather NZ/412251 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

Nav: P/O. Jack Thomas Battye NZ/413805 RNZAF Age 36. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Ivan Ray Lorenzen NZ/41432 Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry Owen Mosen NZ/432368 RNZAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Reece Neave NZ/4210020 RNZAF Age 19. Killed


Taking off at 06:30 hrs with five others, each to search for possible enemy task force. On completion of Sector 6, suffered a starboard engine failure and headed back to base some 400 miles away.

Later, at 10:10, signalled that it was unable to maintain height and about to ditch 150 miles north east of South Bougainville.

Other aircraft over the position within 15 minutes found floating debris and saw personnel in the water, but being low on fuel had to leave.

A US Catalina later landed on the sea and picked up two bodies, but in so doing was disabled by the now heavy seas and had to be towed to land. Navigator Battye and air gunner Neave were buried on Mono,, but later reinterred at Bourail. Their three comrades are commemorated on the Bourail Memorial.

Above L-R: F/O. Reginald Mather, P/O. Jack Battye, W/O. Ivan Lorenzen, Sgt. Henry Mosen and Fl/Sgt. William Neave (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Burial details:

F/O. Reginald Harold Mather. Bourail Memorial. Panel 4. Born in Regina on the 16th July 1917. 1135 flying hours logged. Son of Harold James Mather and Grace Mather; husband of Margarette Josephine Mather, of Bampton Lodge, Oxford Street, Levin, Wellington, New Zealand.

P/O. Jack Thomas Battye. Bourail New Zealand Cemetery. Grave 8.26. Born in Jarrow, Newcastle-upn-Tyne on the 24th November 1907. Son of Tom Battye and of Annie Augusta Battye (née Gibbs), of Golders Green, Middlesex, England.

W/O. Ivan Ray Lorenzen. Bourail Memorial. Panel 6. Born in Auckland on the 02nd June 1922. 841 flying hours logged. Son of Oscar Lorenzen (died 27th June 1945, age 58), and of Mabel Agnes Lorenzen (née Harkins, later King - died 29th August 1956, age 68), of 222 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sgt. Henry Owen Mosen. Bourail Memorial. Panel 8. Born on the 27th October 1924 in Auckland. 181 flying hours logged.Son of Joseph Albert and June Ellen Mosen (died 03rd December 1974), of 309W Queen street, Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Fl/Sgt. William Reece Neave. Bourail New Zealand Cemetery. Grave 8.27. Born on the 10th October 1924 in Christchurch. Son of Anthony Galloway Neave (died 05th January 1966( and Mary Beatrice Neave (died 07th July 1983), of 157 Woodham Road, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

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 21-09-2023

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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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