|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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RAAF October 1942
George Silk Nov 26, 1942
|Pilot S/Ldr Kenneth Roy McDonald, 250430 (MIA / KIA) Ivanhoe, VIC
Crew Sgt Charles Roland Napier, 420247 (MIA / KIA) Leichhardt, NSW
Crew F/O Thomas Edward O'Neill, 407451 (MIA / KIA) Adelaide, SA
Crashed November 26, 1942
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 3830. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AL898. At the factory, painted in RAF markings and camouflage. No known U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) serial number was allocated.
This Boston was one of twenty-two Bostons from the RAF production that were instead allocated to the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF) and over painted with the markings of the Kon Marine (Dutch Navy). Disassembled and shipped overseas bound for the Netherlands East Indies. After the fall of Java while still in transit, diverted to Australia.
During March 1942 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as DB-7B Boston Mark III serial number A28-22. Assigned to No. 22 Squadron. Nicknamed "Retribution" in block letters in a banner with the nose art of an eagle releasing a bomb painted in white on both sides of the nose below the cockpit.
On November 26, 1942 took off from Port Moresby piloted by S/Ldr Kenneth R. McDonald on a bombing mission against the Buna area. Over the target area, this A-20 exploded in mid-air when attempting to dive bomb. It is believed a fragmentation bomb exploded in the fuselage when it was released. On the ground, photographer George Silk photographed the aircraft broken into at least three pieces with several on fire with the tail section seporated visbile in the clear sky. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
During 1946 the burnt out wreckage was found in a clearing at the northwest end of Buna Airfield (Old Strip) and was believed to be this aircraft. At that time, no human remains or traces of the crew were found at the crash site.
Recovery of Remains
All three crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission and are listed as having "No Known Grave". All three are memorialized at Bomana War Cemetery on the Port Moresby Memorial, all three on panel 9.
RAAF Survey of Aircraft Wreckage, Papua New Guinea page ?
"#80 | 08.40-148.24 | Buna Area | RAAF Boston A29-22 | Wreckage recovered burnt out near Buna Strip"
Boston in service with Royal Australian Air Force
ADF Serials - Boston A28-22
CWGC - Kenneth Roy McDonald
CWGC - Charles Roland Napier
CWGC - Thomas Edward O'Neill
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information
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March 3, 2021
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