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|Pilot 2nd Lt. Allan W. Garlick, O-677478 (MIA / KIA, BR) Saint Paul, MN
Gunner SSgt Edward A. Adams, 11036100 (MIA / KIA, BR) Charlestown, MA
Photographer Sgt George A. Newcomb, 6912390 (MIA / KIA, BR) Vinita Park, MS
MIA March 12, 1944
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-20-DO Havoc serial number 42-86730. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2600-23 serial numbers 42-154747 and 42-155020. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns makers and serial numbers unknown. No known nickname or nose art.
On March 12, 1944 too off from Nadzab Airfield No. 4 (APO 713, Unit 1) piloted 2nd Lt. Allan W. Garlick as one of thirty-six A-20s on a mission against Boram Airfield near Wewak. The weather was overcast at 10,000' to 15,000' with stratocumulus 8/10 coverage with bottoms at 1,500' and tops at 4,000'.
Returning from the mission, this A-20 was last contacted by radio by Major Rosebush and reported its position as south of the Sepik River. At the time, this aircraft was at 7,000' with one engine vibrating badly, due to the propeller governor not functioning. Rosebush advised him to feather the engine and proceed to Dumpu Airfield. Pilot Garlick responded "Roger". Afterwards, no trace of this aircraft was seen or heard over the radio. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
The next day, A-20G Havoc piloted by Major Rosebush unsuccessfully searched for this A-20, searching the Dumpu area and the southern coast of New Guinea towards Port Moresby. He spotted two A-20s on the beach, presumably two aircraft lost on this mission.
In fact, this A-20 crashed into a mountain near Simbai. The entire crew was killed on impact in the crash and fire. By the late 1960s, the presence of this crash site became known to local people in the area and was reported to Reverend Daryl A. Schendel, a missionary from the Church of the Nazarene working in the region.
On July 26, 1970 Reverend Daryl A. Schendel, a missionary from the Church of the Nazarene accompanied by local guides arrived at the crash site after trekking to the location over three days. This aircraft crashed upside down with the rear fuselage and tail intact with the cockpit section burned.
Inside the wreckage and on the ground, two skeletons were found. The remains of the pilot were cremated in the cockpit by the fire after the crash, but his jaw, leg bone and dog tags and several personal items were found. These remains were recovered along with Garlick's dog tags and several personal items.
Recovery of Remains
Later, the recovered remains were identified and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Newcomb was officially declared dead on March 12, 1944. Garlick and Adams were officially declared dead on January 19, 1946. All three are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Newcomb earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He was buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at section X site 232.
Adams earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He was buried at Cemetery on the Hill in Salem, MA.
Garlick earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. On September 21, 1971 he was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at section T site 687.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-20-DO Havoc 42-86730
Missing Air Crew Report 4109 (MACR 4109) created March 18, 1944
NAA Boston Missing, page 32 (NAA: 280/6950619/A9845, Box 20)
RAAF Status Card - Boston A-20G 42-86730
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Allan W. Garlick "His remains have been recovered."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Edward A. Adams "remains have been recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George A. Newcomb "remains were recovered and identified"
FindAGrave - 2Lt Allan W Garlick (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Allan Wendall Garlick (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Edward A Adams (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Edward A Adams (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt George A Newcomb (grave photo)
Daryl A. Schendel letter to Mark Clayton (undated)
Pacific Island Monthly report about A-20 discovery
Simbai Patrol No. 2/70-71 by P. J. Kraehenbuhl (NAA: A703, 614/1/25 PART 8 page 18-23)
of External Territories "Attention: Mr. D. J. Bentley" 24 Dec 70 (NAA: A703, 614/1/25 PART 8 page 24)
Department of External Territories "Attention: Mr. D. J. Bentley" 24 Dec 70 (NAA: A703, 614/1/25 PART 8 page 24)
The Edge of Nowhere: Reaching the Remote Kobon People of Papua New Guinea (1978) by Daryl A Schendel pages 6 (map), 68-72, 79 (photo)
(Page 68) "I heard about a large airplane that had crashed many years before. I tried to find out if it was a small plane like the Cessna 185 or was it much larger? None of the local men had actually sen it because it was so far out in the bush, but they did know of a man who had actually seen the plane. I told them that I would like to talk to the man as soon as possible. Several days later a man showed up saying he had actually seen the crashed plane and he thought it had two large objects on each side [engines] of a big tube-like house [fuselage]. One thing he did know for sure, the plane was bigger than a Cessna 185 he had seen at the Simbai Airstrip. We talked for a while..."
(Page 69) "and found out that it was in the same general area where I had planned my next patrol. We set the patrol for July 21-31, 1970, and notified the government patrol officer [kiap] that we were going into this very primitive area. We also explained that we heard stories of a crashed plane in that area and we thought we would check it out. The patrol officer gave his permission and we began to make definite plans. Dr. Paul Chiles, who was helping at the Kudji hospital during this time, decided to go with me to do some medical work among the primitive people that we planned to contact."
(Page 70) “We left Singapi for Aradip, where we spent the night. Altitude at that spot is around 6,500 feet, which makes it quite cool. It always seems like the winds are stronger up there. There were quite a few people in Aradip, and because it was another language group, we had to speak to them through two interpreters. The next morning we moved into the primary area of interest for this patrol. We climbed over a large mountain range and dropped into a valley below. The rain forest was so thick that it was impossible to see the sky. The tropical flowers and birds were everywhere, [Photo: Wreckage of a World War II A20G Douglas fighter-bomber discovered after 28 years]
(Page 71) and the calls of the magnificent birds of paradise were heard from the tops of the trees where they stay.
Arriving on the valley floor, we found two or three house but very few people. There did not seem to be as many as we anticipated. So we set up our tent at what is now known as “ Schendel’s Bluff” and prayed that it would not rain. The carriers built some lean-to huts. We had church with the carriers and what few local people we could find.
It was in this area that we had heard that the crashed plane was located so we left camp early in the morning with no cargo and climbed straight up the other side of the valley. There where no trails, so we had to pick our way up and through the thick foliage. Many times we found it necessary to retrace our route for another, or climb over giant boulders and fallen trees.
Our five hour hike came to an end at a mountain ridge. I have no idea of the altitude, but it was very cold. Some of our men claimed we were close to the downed plane. My excitement was mounting.
From the vantage point of the ridge we were able to make out the form of what turned out to be the wing of an airplane. Just opposite the wing a short distance away, we saw the fuselage and other wing. The main body of the aircraft was overgrown with jungle vines and bush. When I discovered the large USA star insignia, my excitement rose even higher. Here was an American World War II fighter bomber, we later learned, that had become lost from the squadron, and had crashed into the ridge. Our New Guinean carriers were not interested in risking evil spirit by coming any closer to the plane. Thus it was with all who passed by that spot. Consequently, everything remained just as when the tragedy took place.
(Page 72) Dr. Paul and I approached the aircraft which was resting upside down. We took photographs, and investigated the outside of the plane, and then turned our attention to the interior. In the back portion of the plane we discovered the remains of two crew members, a photographer and a gunner. They were probably just where they had fallen on that day in March 1943. Their dog tags were not to be found. In the cockpit area, however, we did find a set of dog tags; they belonged to pilot Allen Garlick. This portion of the plane must have burned upon impact.
Just to the rear of the aircraft I found a live bomb cradled in the 'arms of the tree root.' Large fifty caliber machine guns with dozens of cartridges were lying around the area.
The US government has filled in the details of this war story. The report the Douglas A20G fighter/ bomber had left Nadzab military airstrip near the town of Lae for a bombing run not too far from the town of Wewak in March, 1943. Upon return the crew proceeded up the wrong valley. When engine troubles developed and then realizing where they were, the crew tried to fly the plane over the Bismarck Schrader Range, but weren't able to clear the ridge. The local people had stories of their own, that it had come from the spirit world. We secured all the information needed and headed down the mountain to camp. It was a thrilling experience for us to be the ones to discover the remains of three American servicemen who had been missing in action for twenty eight years. The conclusion to this event took place in 1971 while we were on furlough. It was our privilege to visit with the pilot’s mother and father in Bloomington, Minnesota."
Thanks to Daryl A Schendel and Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis
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