|Pilot 2nd Lt. Ivan F. Brooks (rescued) CA
Gunner Cpl Thomas R. Fehily (MIA / KIA) MA
Engineer-Gunner Cpl Cono B. Cardiello, 12165845 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Ditched April 27, 1945
Built at Douglas. Constructors Number 21037. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the Far East Air Force (FEAF) Combat Replacement and Training Center (CRTC) to the 8th Service Group, 7th Airdrome Squadron (7th ADS).
On April 27, 1945 took off from Nadzab Airfield No. 1 piloted by 2nd Lt. Ivan F. Brooks on a mission against Cape Moem near Wewak. After releasing their bombs, this A-20 experienced an explosion and ditched into Nightingale Bay. When landing, the aircraft impacted tail first and spun around 180°, knocking everyone aboard unconcious. Pilot Brooks awoke as sea water filled the cockpit and attempted to assist his crew but found them both unconcious in the rear of the plane. Unable to free them, Brooks swamp ashore. Fehily and Cardiello likely drowned. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Brooks reached the beach and was rescued that same day by a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) PBY Catalina A24-104 that took off from Madang Seaplane Base piloted by F/Lt. Cuthbertson (C. O. 111 ASR - Number 111 Air Sea Rescue Flight) with Flying Officer John Heness and flown back to Madang Harbor.
The two crew killed in the crash were officially declared dead the day of the mission and remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Both are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. Fehily also has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery at memorial section G.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records
- Ivan F. Brooks
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
Cono B. Cardiello
American Batlle Monuments Comission (ABMC) - Thomas R. Fehily
American Batlle Monuments Comission (ABMC) -
Cono B. Cardiello
FindAGrave - Corp Thomas R Fehily (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp Thomas Robert Fehily (photo, memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Corp Cono B Cardiello (tablets of the missing photo)
NAA Number 111 Air Sea Rescue Flight - April 27, 1945 "Aircraft A24-104 (F/Lt. Cuthbertson) proceeded on Air Sea Rescue search to Nightengale Bay to endeavour to locate crew of U. S. Air Force Boston. Mission was successful and one survivor was rescued."
WW2 Nominal Roll - Allan Darling Cuthbertson
WW2 Nominal Roll - John Bernard Heness
Flying Officer John Heness Logbook - April 27, 1945 "rescued Ist Lt Brooks from a beach near where he ditched a Boston in Nightingale Bay, near Wewak. The rest of the crew drowned / located on beach near Sumup – taken off in dingy"
USAAF Overseas Accident Reports - April 1945 A-20G 43-21390
AirForceHistoryIndex - IRISNUM: 00040785 - 7th Airdrome Squadron April 1-30, 1945
Thanks to Edward Rogers and Chris Goddard / AWM for additional information
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April 29, 2019