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Charles Darby 1979
John Douglas 2003
|Pilot ? (survived)
Gunner ? (survived)
Force Landed April 16, 1944
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-20-DO Havoc serial number 42-88615. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 417th Bombardment Group "Sky Lancers" (417th BG), 675th Bombardment Squadron (675th BS). Later, assigned to the 3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG), 13th Bombardment Squadron (13th BS). No known nose art or nickname. Tail letter "T".
On April 5, 1944 this A-20 took off piloted by Taylor on a strike mission against Hollandia.
On April 16, 1944 took off as one of twelve A-20s from the 13th Bombardment Squadron (13th BS) led by Major Richard Walker on a low level strike mission against Hollandia. These were the last aircraft over the target area and began the return flight the latest.
Returning, the formation encountered a severe weather front and flew over the open water to fly low and maintain visual contact flying by dead reckoning towards Saidor. Fearing they would run low on fuel, Dower radioed Walker to request the formation reduce speed but he declined, fearing that slowing down was more dangerous than fuel consumption.
Three A-20s elected to break formation. The first was A-20G "Joy Baby" 43-9039 that had mechanical problems and was low on fuel. The other two was A-20G 42-86563 and wingman this aircraft elected to pull out of formation and became lost in bad weather. The pair spotted the north coast of New Guinea and followed the coastline to Yamai Airfield near Saidor.
Critically low on fuel, the pair made short approaches before landing on the muddy runway that caused damage to both aircraft. Afterwards, the mission was dubbed "Black Sunday" for the number of aircraft lost.
Fate of the Crew
Both crew survived unhurt. Afterwards, they plus other aviators that force landed at Yamai Airfield embarked ob a U. S. Navy (USN) barge and were transported to Saidor arriving at 9:00pm and later returned to their unit.
Afterwards, this A-20 was written off and usable parts salvaged then abandoned at Yamai Airfield. Until November 1985, this A-20 remained in situ at Yamai Airfield (Saidor No. 2, Biliau). The "Dauntless Demons" markings of the 675th Bombardment Squadron were still visible on the aircraft.
During November 1985, the fuselage of this aircraft was salvage by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Transported to Australia, this aircraft was placed into storage at RAAF Museum at Point Cook.
Between 1988 to 1991, the salvaged parts of this A-20 were used by the RAAF in their restorations of DB-7B "J is for Jessica" A28-8 and A-20G "Hell'N Pelican II" 42-86786.
Afterwards, the remaining parts were placed into storage at RAAF Point Cook. During 2002, remaining parts of this aircraft were possibly disposed, traded or sold by the RAAF to Precision Aerospace (Precision Airmotive).
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-20-DO Havoc 42-86615
"86615 (417th BG, 675th BS) crashed on landing at Yamai airfield Apr 16, 1944. Wreck was recovered from Saidor, New Guinea in 1985 for use by RAAF Museum in restoration of A-20G 42-86786. Remains of this aircraft noted in storage at RAAF Amberley, Australia November 2002, for disposal by RAAF Museum now that their two A-20 restorations are complete."
Black Sunday (2000) by Michael Claringbould page 59 (returning from mission), 76 (force landing Yamai), 96 (42-86615)
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 50 (lower)
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