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  A-20G-40-DO Havoc Serial Number 43-21304  
5th AF

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Click For Enlargement
Brian Bennett 2005

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas at Santa Monica. Contract Number AC-32732. Constructors Number 20951. On February 24, 1944 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-40-DO Havoc serial number 43-21304. Project Number 96465-R. Disassembled at Oakland and loaded as cargo aboard a ship. On April 19, 1944 departed California across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). Delivered to New Guinea (Left) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF). No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
During 1944 crashed near Musak north of the Ramu Valley in New Guinea. Officially, this aircraft was conndemened accident (Con Acc) on June 13, 1944.

After the crash, locals at Musak saw smoke rising from the jungle and found the crash site. When they arrived, the bodies of the two crew but they had been partially consumed by the fire. They removed their identity discs (dog tags) and buried the remains near the cockpit marking the grave with a piece of armor plate. Afterwards, they took the dog tags and part of a pistol to Patrol Officer England stationed at Fider Station near Bogati who rewarded them including Luluai (Cheif) Aba and medical Tul Tul (healer) Nanum. The names on the dog tags were unknown.

On April 29, 1946, a portion of a RAAF Searcher Team including Patrol Officer Bentinck, ANGAU and F/O Lloyd S. Cogswell, 12106 walked from Wabusarik to Musak to investigate a crashed aircraft roughly six miles away. On April 30, 1946 the team walked to the crash site at the headwaters of the Krim River a tributary of the Ungut River.

The cockpit section was burned and destroyed in the crash with the center section and top turret badly smashed. The tail section was the only portion relatively intact with the yellow serial number 321304, the shortened version of 43-21304. A U. S. star marking was also visible and five dataplates were recovered with the same serial number. Afterwards, the aircraft was noted in RAAF Survey of Aircraft Wreckage, Papua New Guinea #356 and reported to American forces.

During 2005 a team from JPAC including Brian Bennett visited the crash site. The serial number 321304, the shortened version of 43-21304 remained visible on the tail section.

Recovery of Remains
On April 30, 1946 at the crash site, the RAAF Searcher Team found the grave five yards to the left of the cockpit marked with a large piece of armor plate. The burial was exhumed and were believed to be those of two individuals but were incomplete. The bones were badly smashed and only a portion of upper teeth and part of a jaw bone were found. No other remains were found in the wreckage.

Afterwards, the recovered remains were turned over to American forces at Finschafen. American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) designated the remains unknown X-86 and unknown X-87.

On October 24, 1946 at 3:00pm the remains were buried at American Cemetery at Finschafen at Cemetery #5 (Finscaffen No. 5) during a mass burial by U. S. Army Chaplain Reverend Carl L. Schneuker who was Protestant. X-86 at grave 1452. X-87 at grave 1453.

On September 22, 1948 both graves were disinterred and transported to Manila. On October 14, 1947 placed in the AGRS Mausoleum as unknown X-490 and were declared unidentifiable and the remains included broken bones, skull fragments and partial dental. On March 30, 1950 buried at Manila American Cemtery at plot 812 row A grave 56.

Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) A-20G Havoc 43-21304
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-40-DO Havoc 43-21304
Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) 13th Bombardment Squadron (Light) IRIS: A0540A pages 16, 27
(Page 16) "D. Losses during June.
1 A20G-40, #43-21293-M.I.A." [A-20G 43-21293 sic? A-20G 43-21327]
(Page 27) "Monthly Report of Personnel (Cont'd). (e) Otherwise lost during month: [June 1944]
"1st Lt. Riordan, Walter A., AC, 0795478 Pilot M.I.A. [A-20G 43-21327 MIA June 22, 1944]
2nd Lt. Johnson, Harvey E., AC -747271 Pilot Killed [A-20G pilot Johnson missing June 13, 1944]
Sgt Emmick, Stanley D., AC, 37472980 Eng-gun. M.I.A. [A-20G 43-21327 MIA June 22, 1944]"
RAAF Survey of Aircraft Wreckage, Papua New Guinea page 9
"#356 | 5.20-145.17 | Musak - Ramu Valley | USAC Boston A-20G 43-21304 | Wreckage recovered"
293 File Unknown (X-File) X-86 (Finschhafen No. 5)
(Page 9) “3. Records of the Headquarters reveal that aircraft A-20G, serial number 3210304 was assigned to the Fifth Army Air Force, Fifth Bomb Center and that this aircraft was lost due to a non-combat accident on 13 June 1944.”
293 File Unknown (X-File) X-87 (Finschhafen No. 5)
(Page 7) "3. There is no record of Aircraft A-20, #43-21304 in Air Historical Files and no information on subject aircraft other than furnished in the first indorsement [sic] is available."
(Page 21) "Identification Dental Chart 10 June 1946 Unknown X-87 Musak village, Ramu River area. 2 crew members being held above ground."
Thanks to Brian Bennett for additional information

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Last Updated
November 9, 2019


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