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|Pilot 2nd Lt. Sam L. Norris, O-677419 (MIA / KIA) Travis County, TX
Gunner SSgt Michael P. Schussman, 36189953 (MIA / KIA) Kalamazoo County, MI
Photographer SSgt Lewis B. Conser, 19024398 5th AF Camera Unit (MIA / KIA) Marin County, CA
Ditched February 15, 1944 at 9:45am
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-20-DO Havoc serial number 42-86728. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On February 15, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. Sam L. Norris on a low level strike mission against Kavieng. Over the target, this A-20 attacked shipping in Kavieng Harbor and was observed to partially explode at about 200' altitude and go down with the left engine and wing on fire.
Damaged, this A-20 hit the water and exploded about out 200 yards north of Nusa Island, another A-20 over flew the wreckage and saw only a portion of the wing on the surface. Another reference places the position as 200 yards east of Nusa Island off Kavieng Harbor. When this aircraft failed to return the crew was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
The entire crew is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Norris earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously.
Schussman earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.
Conser was a combat photographer from 5th Army Air Force Combat Camera Unit (5thAF CCU). He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.
Note, there are two reports Missing Air Crew Report 16315 (MACR 16315), one related to this aircraft and the other related to the loss of A-20G 42-86616 both lost on the same mission from the same squadron. Likely, one report was incorrectly number, but each is different in content and page count.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-20-DO Havoc 42-86728
"86728 (3rd BG, 13th BS) shot down by AAA during attack on Kavieng, New Britain Feb 15, 1944. 3 crew killed."
Missing Air Crew Report 16315 (MACR 16315) [Norris/Schussman/Conser] created February 15, 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Sam L. Norris
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Michael P. Schussman
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lewis B. Conser
FindAGrave - 2Lt Sam L Norris (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Michael P Schussman (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Lewis B Conser (tablets of the missing photo)
Thanks to Phil Fazzini and Edward Rogers for additional information
February 15, 1944
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