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c1944 via Meier
|Pilot 2nd Lt. Alfred J. Hamwey, O-813891 (MIA / KIA) Jacksonville, FL
Gunner Cpl Melvin L. Huff, 37678751 (MIA / KIA) Eldora, IA
Gunner Cpl Carmello J. Palermo, 12208112 (MIA / KIA) Rochester, NY
MIA January 20, 1945 at 9:55am
Built at Douglas. Constructors Number 21269. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-40-DO Havoc serial number 43-21622. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 8th Service Group (8th SrvG), 7th Aerodrome Squadron (7 ADS) part of the Far East Air Force - Combat Replacement and Training Center (FEAF-CRTC). No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-2600-23 serial numbers (left) 36138 and (right) 57048.
On January 20, 1945 took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. Alfred J. Hamwey armed with napalm bombs as one of six A-20s on a combat mission against Cape Wom near Wewak. This A-20 was code-named "Sugar 622" was flying in the second element, number 2 position. Over the target, the formation made two bombing runs dropping two bombs each pass over Japanese positions near Cape Wom. This A-20 was last observed prior to the attack run. No enemy anti-aircraft fire was observed over the target nor was the crash of this aircraft observed. No distress call was heard over the VHF radio channel "B".
When this A-20 failed to join the formation, the second element returned to the target area at 2,000'. They observed a fire across the base of Cape Wom, but assumed it was from their bombing and no sign of a crash through the trees nor the inshore side of Muschu Island. Next, the formation climbed to 4,000' and saw no sign of a downed plane in the water, only an oily patch at the tip of Cape Wom, assumed to have been caused by one of the bombs. A radio call was heard that was believed to be this aircraft and the second element turned back towards base while searched the route along the way and passing over Faita. After returning to base, the radio call turned out to be from A-20 piloted by Lt. Nave.
During the afternoon, two B-25s and two A-20s searched the entire in the vicinity of where the mission was conducted, without results. On January 21, 1945 five A-20s on a mission against Wewak also searched without results. On January 22, 1945 six A-20s searched the same area without results.
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 21, 1946. The entire crew earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. All three are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Rick Meier (nephew of Palermo)
"Nearly a year later, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 'Lost Corporal Listed Dead' from February 10, 1947 reports him listed as dead by the military. The article states, 'He was reported missed in action Jan. 20, 1945 when the attack bomber on which he was gunner failed to return from a mission over Wewak, New Guinea.' Article also says he entered the service in August 1943."
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Alfred J. Hamwey
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Melvin L. Huff
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Carmello J. Palermo
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-40-DO Havoc 43-21622
"21622 (8th BG) lost Jan 20, 1945, New Guinea."
Missing Air Crew Report 13316 (MACR 13316) created January 21, 1945
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle "Lost Corporal Listed Dead" February 10, 1946
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-20G Havoc 43-21622
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alfred J. Hamwey
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Melvin L. Huff
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Carmello J. Palermo
FindAGrave - 2Lt Alfred John Hamwey (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp Melvin L Huff (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Carmello J “Carl” Palermo (tablets of the missing photo)
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