|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 22 Squadron. Nicknamed "Retribution" with nose art of an eagle dropping a bomb.
On November 26, 1942 took off from Port Moresby 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, Australian combat photographer George Silk photographed this Boston after the explosion with the pieces falling to the ground.
During 1946 the burnt out wreckage was found in a clearing at the northwest end of Buna Airfield (Old Strip) and believed to be this aircraft. No human remains were located at the time.
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 are memorialized at Bomana War Cemetery on panel 9.
Boston in service with Royal Australian Air Force
ADF Serials - Boston A28-22
CWGC - Kenneth Roy McDonald
CWGC - Charles Roland Napier
Thomas Edward O'Neill
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information
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February 4, 2018