|Pilot Lt. Michael Jovanovich (survived)
Gunner Sgt Jack T. Barr, 33290880 (MIA / KIA) PA
Gunner Sgt Melvin G. Cope (MIA / KIA) KS
Ditched April 16, 1944 'Black Sunday' at 16:55
Built at Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Shipped overseas to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 417th Bombardment Group, 675th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Tail letter V.
Took off from Saidor Airfield on a low level strike mission against Hollandia. Over the target, several of the nose 50 caliber machine guns failed to fire due to faulty solenoid connectors. Returning from the mission, the formation encountered a severe weather front and bad weather. Seeing chaos on the ground at Saidor Airfield due to other aircraft that force landed, nine A-20s from the 675th Bombardment Squadron led by Squadron C.O. Captain Alfred Moser proceeded toward to Finschafen Airfield, including this aircraft.
Out of fuel, Jovanovich climbed to 1,500'
and gave his gunners the option of bailing out, but both chose to stay with the plane. Prior to landing, Jovanovich feathered both propellers and opened the canopy. This A-20 ditched into medium swells approximately 35 miles northwest of Fischafen.
Fates of the Crew
Jovanovich was unhurt and managed to exit and inflate his life raft. Returning to the aircraft, Jovanovich tried to open the gunner's hatch but was unable to do so before the plane sank after roughly 45 seconds afloat. His two gunners were presumed to have drowned inside the aircraft and went down with it as it sank.
Soon afterwards, Jovanovich was rescued by a US Navy PT Boat and taken to Fischafen.
Both gunners were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at MAC.
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-20G Havoc 43-9488
Black Sunday (2000) by Michael Claringbould pages 75, 97
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March 10, 2019