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  DB-7B Boston Mark III "J is for Jessica" Serial Number A28-8 Code DU-J
22 Squadron

Former Assignments

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Douglas Lyon 1996

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Daniel Leahy 2000

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Peter Flahavin 2004
Pilot  FLGOFF Harry Rowell, 411191 (survived) Trafalgar, VIC
Gunner  FSGT Douglas Frederick Lyon, 420018 (survived)
Crashed  September 12, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 3839. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AL907. 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) and assigned NEIAF serial number 240. Disassembled and shipped overseas bound for the Netherlands East Indies. After the fall of Java while still in transit, diverted to Australia.

Wartime History
During March 1942, delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as DB-7B Boston Mark III serial number A28-8. Assigned to No. 22 Squadron. Nicknamed "J is for Jessica" with code DU-J.

The nose bombardier position was painted over and four fixed .303 machine guns installed inside the nose for strafing. Later, this Boston was one of two field modified with two .303 machine guns installed in the tail, the other was DB-7 Boston A28-9. This aircraft flew 56 combat missions before it was damaged and written off.

Mission History
On September 12, 1943 took off from Vivigani Airfield on Goodenough Island piloted by FLGOFF Harry Rowell with gunner F/Sgt Douglas F. Lyon on a mission against Gasmata on New Britain. Over the target, damaged by anti-aircraft fire and force landed at Vivigani Airfield. Both crew members survived unhurt.

Afterwards, this aircraft was written off and converted to components with the engines, outer wings, tail fin and rudder removed as spare parts. This aircraft remained in situ at Vivigani Airfield. In the early 1970s, Charles Darby noted the original paintwork including the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF) markings with "Kon Marine" and three rows of bomb markings.

In 1981, this aircraft was salvaged by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as part of a salvage training exercise and was shipped to Australia then transported to the Royal Australian Air Force Museum Point Cook (RAAF Museum Point Cook).

Between 1983 until 1996 this aircraft was restored to static condition by Australian Air Force Museum Point Cook (RAAF Museum Point Cook) and painted in the correct markings when it was damaged. In 1996, crew member Douglas Lyon visited the restoration to see his former aircraft.

Since 1996, the restored aircraft is displayed at Royal Australian Air Force Museum Point Cook (RAAF Museum Point Cook).

WW2 Nominal Roll - Harry Rowell, 411191
WW2 Nominal Roll - Douglas Frederick Lyon, 420018
Boston in service with Royal Australian Air Force
ADF Serials - Boston A28-8
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks (1979) page 46

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Last Updated
March 3, 2021

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