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  A-20A "Minnie Ha Ha / Cleo III" Serial Number 40-170  
USAAF
5th AF
3rd BG
89th BS

Pilot  Captain Donald E. "Buck" Good (survived) OR
Gunner  S/Sgt Joseph Fox, 18048416 89th BS (POW, executed March 30, 1943) Cuyahoga County, OH
Photographer  Pvt William M. Ramsey, 17034750 90th BS (MIA / KIA) Bates County, MO

Ditched  March 26, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20A Havoc serial number 40-170. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG), 89th Bombardment Squadron (89th BS) when the unit converted from A-24 Dive Bombers. Nicknamed "Minnie Ha Ha". Later, renamed "Cleo III".

Mission History
On March 26, 1943 took off from Dobodura Airfield piloted by Captain Donald E. "Buck" Good on a strike mission and while attacking the secondary target of Salamaua, hit by anti-aircraft fire in the No. 2 engine, that set the engine on fire. The heat became too intense and the two crew in the fuselage bailed out at 1,000' approximate two miles out to sea off the coast of New Guinea. Afterwards, two A-20s circled protectively over the two men until they departed due to low fuel. As they left, they could still see a man swimming towards shore.

Pilot Good was able to fly further to the southern successfully ditched in the vicinity of Labu, deployed the life raft and was able to paddle ashore.

Fates of the Crew
After the capture of Lae, the translation of a Japanese officer's diary revealed that at about this time, an American airmen swam ashore near Salamaua and was captured by the Japanese. He was incarcerated and later beheaded by the Japanese. Intelligence concluded this was S/Sgt Joseph Fox.

Japanese POW Naohei Okabe stated:
"Sgt. Fox was captured by the Japanese on March 30, 1943 [Walolo] and taken to Lae. Natives named Nikkas and Kupay saw and heard of the interrogation. POW was handed over to 7th Naval Base Force"

Photographer Ramesey probably never made it to shore. He might have drown or otherwise died. He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Pilot Good reached shore near Labu and was aided by a missionary. Afterwards, he was transported aboard a barge operated by the U. S. Army 41st Infantry Division and was later returned to duty.

Memorials
Ramsey and Fox were officially declared dead on December 17, 1945. Both remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Both are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Fox earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Ramsey earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Joseph Fox
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - William M. Ramsey
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20A Havoc 40-170
"170 mission Mar 29, 1943" [sic March 26, 1943]
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph Fox
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William M. Ramsey
FindAGrave - SSgt Joseph Fox (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt William M Ramsey (tablets of the missing)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
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Last Updated
December 22, 2020

 

Tech Info
A-20

MIA
MIA
1 Prisoner
2 Missing

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