|Pilot 2nd Lt. Donald A. Murison (KIA, BR)
Crashed November 22, 1944
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-25-DO Havoc serial number 43-9431. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 417th Bombardment Group. On March 20, 1944 assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group, 389th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to 2nd Lt. Donald A. Murison. Nicknamed "Strictly Eager!" with tail letter E. Operated from Gusap Airfield and later Hollandia Airfield.
This A-20 was flown on at least thirteen combat missions piloted by Murison. This A-20 began to experience a slight tail oscillation problem when back pressure was applied to the control yoke. On November 21, 1944 this A-20 was test flown by 2nd Lt. Joseph Rutter, while Murison flew behind him in another aircraft to observe if there were any loose control surfaces or other problems.
On November 22, 1944 took off from Hollandia Airfield on a test flight to test the correction of a slight tail oscillation problem. After take off this A-20 gained altitude, then entered a steep dive to see if the problem was corrected. During the dive, part of the tail fell off and pilot Murison bailed out, but his parachute did not open and he was killed on impact. This A-20 crashed and broke into flames roughly two miles south of Hollandia near Lake Sentai. The cause of the crash was never established.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, Murison's remains were recovered. Postwar, his remains were exhumed and transported to the United States for final burial, cemetery details unknown.
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's pages 184-185, 350, 365
The Roarin' 20's mentions this aircraft, tail letter incorrectly listed as "H"
Thanks to Jack Fellows for additional information
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February 14, 2020