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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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31.05.1944 No. 31 Squadron TBF-IC Avenger NZ2521 Sgt. Trolove

Operation: Strike

Date: 31st May 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 31 Squadron

Type: TBF-IC Avenger

Serial: NZ2521

Code: -

Base: Piva Bomber Strip, Bougainville, Solomon Islands

Location: Talili Bay area

Pilot: Sgt. William Alan Trolove NZ/4211654 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed (1)

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Malcolm Alexander Bruford Harsant NZ/422066 RNZAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Frank Harry Brown NZ/425132 RNZAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at around 09:00 on a strike against Talili Bat supply lines near Rabaul. Eight others from the, Squadron taking part. Understood that they were hit by flak and came down in the area shown at 11:00 hrs.

All others returned safely.

No remains were found after the war and so they are commemorated on the Bourail Memorial

Above L-R: Fl/Sgt. Malcolm Alexander Bruford Harsant, Sgt. William Alan Trolove, Fl/Sgt. Frank Harry Brown (courtesy Auckland Library Heritage Collection)

(1) Tragically the family lost a further two sons during the war.

25 year old P/O. Peter Noel Trolove 36183 RAF. Whilst with 269 Squadron (18 Group), flying Hudson I N7330 C shot down on Thursday 27th June 1940. Missing - believed killed off the Norwegian coast.

24 year old, P/O. Derek Roy Trolove 2190 RNZAF. Whilst with 2 Operational Training Unit, flying P-40E Kittyhawk NZ3020. Killed on a training exercise on Friday 11th August 1944.

Burial details:

Sgt. William Alan Trolove. Bourail Memorial. Panel 8. Born on the 25th April 1924 at Christchurch, the son of Noel Fredrick and Laura Zelma Trolove (née Magnus), of Merivale, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. A clerk for Christchurch City Council prior to service. Enlisted on the 21st September 1942. A total of 322 flying hours logged.

Fl/Sgt. Malcolm Alexander Bruford Harsant. Bourail Memorial. Panel 6. Born on the 01st March 1917 at Raglan, the son of Reginald and Martha Caroline Harsant and husband of Ivy Doreen Harsant (née Holmes, later Lockhead), of Cambridge, Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as a herd tester for Auckland Herd Improvements Association. Enlisted on the 18th March 1942. A total of 179 flying hours logged.

Fl/Sgt. Frank Harry Brown. Bourail Memorial. Panel 6. Born on the 09th August 1921 at Horopito, the son of George Harry and Brida Marina Brown (née O'Rooke) and step-son of Nellie Louise Green and husband of Valerie Elsie Brown (née Williams), of Herne Bay, Auckland. Prior to service worked as a cooper for Westfield Freezing Company. Enlisted on the 19th June 1942. A total of 274 flying hours logged.


P/O. Peter Noel Trolove. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 10. Born on the 29th December 1914 at Avonside, the husband of Margaret Trolove (later Best), of Christchurch. A shop supervisor for Ernest Adams Ltd prior to service. Enlisted on a short service commission with the RNZAF on the 01st April 1938. A total of 283 flying hours logged with 49 on the P-40.

P/O. Derek Roy Trolove. Christchurch Cemetery (Bromley). Grave 196. 7. Born on the 03rd April 1920 at Kaikoura, the husband of Olive Judith Trolove (née Hyde), of Christchurch, Canterbury. A clerk prior to enlisting on the 16th June 1943. A total of 658 flying hours logged. Completed 31 operational sorties.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and 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, also to Pacific Wrecks, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 26.12.2019

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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', 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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