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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 (RNZAF) Hudson III NZ2025 F/O. Alistair Tanetoa Parata

Operation: Patrol

Date: 27th June 1943 (Sunday)

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

Type: Hudson III

Serial: NZ2025

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Nausori, Viti Levu, Fiji


Pilot: F/O. Alistair Tanetoa Parata NZ/403983 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

Pilot: Sgt. Albert Lewis Moss NZ/428827 RNZAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed

Nav: W/O. Egbert Brian Willis NZ/413164 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. George Ernest Billson NZ/41101 RNZAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Michael James Horgan NZ/413757 RNZAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 12:35 hrs on anti-submarine patrol.

The operation had been hastily prepared, the navigator lacked experience and confidence, and the weather was bad. The weather and breakdowns in navigation and radio procedures led to the aircraft becoming lost.

Repeated attempts to pass navigational assistance were unsuccessful and early in the evening, the last radio transmission was an SOS message that the aircraft had run out of fuel and was going down.

Searches were mounted and continued until dawn the following day but the crew were never found.

The subsequent court of inquiry led to substantive changes in the management of navigational aids and mission preparation.

Burial details:

F/O. Alistair Tanetoa Parata. Bourail Memorial. Panel 4. Born on the 14th of June 1917 in Riverton. Enlisted on the 26th October 1940 at Levin. A total of 954 flying hours logged, with 177 on the Hudson. Son of the Revd. Canon Hoani Haereroa Parata (died 21st October 1928, age 47) and Margaret Helen Campbell Parata (died 09th May 1971, age 83), of Maroi Hill, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.

Sgt. Albert Lewis Moss. Bourail Memorial. Panel 8. Born on the 22nd of December 1913 in Oamaru. Enlisted at Rotorua on the 23rd July 1942. Son of Albert William (died 02nd September 1951, age 67) and Mary Jane Moss (née Gillies - died 05th September 1966, age 78), of Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand.

W/O. Egbert Brian Willis. Bourail Memorial. Panel 8. Born 21st November 1918. Born on the 20th November 1918 in Hawera. Enlisted on the 24th May 1941 at Levin. Son of John Gorben Prior Willis (died 02nd January 1921, age 34) and Maud Charlotte Willis (née Johns - died 10th August 1925, age 39), of Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand and husband of Gloria Willis( née Bent, later Shade) of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. George Ernest Billson. Bourail Memorial. Panel 6. Born on the 22nd of February 1916 in Christchurch. Enlisted at Harewood on the 05th January 1941. Son of George Ernest (died 27th September 1943, age 64) and Ellen Billson (died 27th September 1943, age 67), of Christchurch, New Zealand and husband of Margaret Buchanan Billson (/née Pascoe), of Papanui, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Sgt. Michael James Horgan. Bourail Memorial. Panel 7. Born on the 29th of August 1914 in Blenheim. Enlisted at Levin on the 05th July 1941. Son of Timothy Joseph (died 10th May 1936, age 51) and Cecilia Horgan (née Oliver - died 17th February 1928, age 49) of Marlborough, New Zealand.

Above: L-R: Rear; A.K Saunders, A.J McCracken, J.T.E Matheson, Patrick John Denis Cooney NZ/403961, Huon Andrew Chandler NZ/403944, William Douglas Stuart NZ/403998, Colin John Stirling NZ/403997, Leicester Bond Ware NZ/404007, J.A.G Barthgate.
Centre; L.M Checketts, F.W.H Burney, R.H Higgins, A.D Bayly, Keith Francis Moore NZ/403971, Kenneth Sinclair Blair NZ/40962, W.R Kemp, Robert Ellis Stevenson NZ/403996, Charles Benedict Wareham, James Ellis Smith NZ/402905.
Front; Travis Coburn Goodlet NZ/403546, B.D Christopher, Alistair Tanetoa Parata NZ/403983, B.G Wallace, John Duncan Broadley NZ/403937, S.S Obery, Brian Trevor NZ/401784 (Courtesy Aviation Museum of Nw Zealan)

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”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 21-06-2022

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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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