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  A-20G-40-DO Havoc Serial Number 43-21430 Tail V
5th AF
312th BG

389th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Walter H. Van, O-665250 (MIA / KIA) IL
Gunner  Sgt Gilbert V. Cooper, 15336632 (MIA / KIA) OH

Crashed  July 9, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built at Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-40-DO Havoc serial number 43-21430. Shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
During June 1944, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 312th Bombardment Group (312th BG), 389th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to pilot Van. No known nose art or nickname. Tail letter V.

Mission History
On July 9, 1944 one of twenty-four A-20s from the 388th Bombardment Squadron and 389th Bombardment Squadron led by Col. Strauss that took off from Hollandia Airfield on a low level mission against Babo Airfield.

Over the target at low level, the 388th Bombardment Squadron attacked first with six A-20s flying abrest over the Kasira River. As A-20s from the 389th Bombardment Squadron followed, anti-aircraft gunners had adjusted their fire and this A-20 was hit and crashed into one of the taxiways and exploded on impact, killing both of the crew. When this aircraft failed to return, it was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Rampage of the Roarin' 20's pages 143-146, 349, 366

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020


Tech Info

2 Missing
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