|Pilot 2nd Lt. Charles W. Fick, O-750360 (MIA / KIA) CA
Gunner Edward C. Ryan, 11056243 (MIA / KIA) Rutland, VT
Ditched June 17, 1944
Built at Douglas. Assigned to the 3rd Bombardment Group, 8th Bombardment Squadron. When lost, engine R-2699-23 serial numbers 42-154316 and 42-104062. No serial numbers for the weapons were noted in MACR.
On June 17, 1944 took off from Hollandia Airfield on a varied course for a low-level attack against Babo Airfield. Damaged by anti-aircraft fire over the target, causing an oil leak and made a controlled ditching into Bentoni Bay near Babo. The aircraft stayed above water for about 1.5 minutes, and was observed by three other A-20 pilots. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
Both crew were last seen in their life raft. After the crash, the A-20 piloted by 1st Lt Brown circled their raft for twenty minutes and dropped supplies to them, and observed both had made it to shore before departing low on fuel. Noting their location, Brown returned to Hollandia and notified air-sea rescue.
The June 18, PBY Catalina #33 was assigned to search for the crew was unable to take off due to bad weather and was assigned to search another area on June 19. No search could be made due to weather until June 20, when a PBY finally was assigned, but was recalled 2/3 of the way to the crash site, for reasons unknown. On June 21 another PBY escorted by two fighters searched the crash area for 1 1/2 hours but saw no sign of the crew, aside from a native canoe. This was the only search mission that reached the crash site area. Each of the search missions was flown with Lt. Brown who had originally observed them.
Both crew were officially declared dead on February 14, 1946. Memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery
Sue Ryan adds:
"I wasn't born until after his death but will give you a brief history about him made by my cousin John Eddy, who was about eleven years old when his plane went down [ Read Account ]"
Missing Air Crew Report 6583 (MACR 6583) successful search is listed as June 21 and 23 on two different pages, unclear which date is accurate
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information
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May 5, 2019