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  A-20G-30 "Old S" Serial Number 43-9468 Tail S
USAAF
5th AF
312th BG
388th BS

Former Assignments
386th BS

Click For Enlargement
1944

Aircraft History
Built at Douglas. On November 26, 1943 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-30 Havoc serial number 43-9468. Shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
During February 1944, assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 312th Bombardment Group (312th BG), 386th Bombardment Squadron (386th BS) based at Gusap Airfield. Assigned to pilot Col Robert H. Strauss (C.O. 312th BG) with crew chief Cpl Benjamin Suddeth. Nicknamed "Old S" but this name was never applied to the aircraft. On the left side of the nose was a circular target to taunt Japanese gunners to aim for this aircraft.

On February 25, 1944 this A-20 flew the group's first bombing mission against Alexishafen Airfield. Over the target, hit by a small caliber bullet in the right engine nacelle.

On March 15, 1944 this A-20 flew a bombing mission over Kairiru Island. On April 3, 1944 against Hollandia. April 5, 1944 against Hollandia. On April 16, 1994 "Black Sunday" lead the mission against Hollandia.

Next, this A-20 was based at Hollandia Airfield.On July 9, 1944 led a low level strike mission against Babo Airfield. Over the target, anti-aircraft fire damaged the bomb bay, electrical system, airspeed indicator and tail. After landing, an unexploded 25mm shell was discovered inside the bomb bay that had entered when the bomb bay doors were open but failed to explode.

On June 29, 1944 against Yakamul. On July 22, 1944 against Kokas. On September 10, 1944 against Babo Airfield.

During October 1944, SSgt Richard E. Harris became crew chief and was based on Leyte.

On January 7, 1945 led a strike against Clark Field. On February 16, 1945 this A-20 led the mission over Corregidor Island. This was Col. Strass' final combat mission in this A-20 prior to returning to the United States. At one time, this aircraft was scheduled to return to the United States of a War Bond drive.

During March 1945 experimental rocket mounts were installed on the wings and tested.

During May 1945, transferred to the 388th Bombardment Squadron (388th BS). Assigned to pilot Waetzman with crew chief Hannon.

On June 10, 1945 while parked in the flight line at Floridablanca Airfield this A-20 was to participate in a mission against Santiago, but pilot 2nd Lt. Ralph E. Trout could not start the engines due to a dead battery. While a ground crew member worked on the plane, a spark started a fire in the bomb bay with four 250 lbs bombs and a full load of fuel.

Spotting the fire, pilot 2nd Lt Eugene A. Johnson taxied his A-20 and another away from the aircraft to save them from damage. Clearing the area, this A-20 exploded and destroyed A-20 "Jap Happy" parked nearby and damaged A-20 "Runnin Wild".

After the fire, only the engines, nose section and control column remained. The control column was recovered and later sent to Strauss. In total, this A-20 flew at least 90 combat missions.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-30-DO Havoc 43-9468
"9468 in accident Jun 10, 1945"
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's pages 96 (photo), 145 (photo), 176 (photo) 208 (profile) 214 (profile) 248, 257-258, 299, 311-312, 313 (photo) 355, 363, 390-391

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

Tech Info
A-20

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