Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army at Savannah, GA on October 21, 1941. Next to PHAD on November 2, 1941. Assigned to Project "X" on January 2, 1942, Disassembled on January 8, 1942 transported with the Pensacola Convoy to
Brisbane and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 8th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On May 24, 1942 three A-24 dive bombers: this aircraft, A-24 41-15820 and A-24 41-15822 took off from 3 Mile Drome (Kila Kila) near Port Moresby on a mission to fly to into the highlands to rescued the crew of B-25C 41-12478 piloted by Feltham on May 16, 1942.
The three A-24s were piloted by Rogers, Doan and Holcomb, it is not clear which pilot flew which of three A-24s. Over the Highlands, A-24 piloted by Floyd "Buck" Rogers suffered an engine failure and force landed at Ramu. A-24 piloted by Doan landed at Kainantu Airfield but hit a soft spot and landed nose up. Only the A-24 piloted by Holcombe successfully landed at Aiyura Airfield.
The next morning on May 25, 1942, 2nd Lt James T. Holcombe attempted to take off with the single surviving A-24. On take off, it flipped over and killed him. Passenger Floyd Rogers in the gunner's seat was wounded, but survived.
During late 1942, another US Army team visited this A-24 and stripped it for parts. stripped for parts used to repair one of the A-24s. One of the aircraft, likely the A-24 piloted by Doan was repaired at either Aiyura or Kainantu and flown back to Port Moresby. This aircraft was officially condemned on November 7, 1942.
Until the late 1950s, the wreckage of one A-24 Dive Bomber remained at Aiyrua Airfield until scrapped. Parts of this aircraft were used at Aiyura agricultural station.
Edward Rogers adds:
"According to Michael Claringbould three mechanics later went up to Aiyura to see if any of A-24's could be repaired and flown out. They decided that they were beyond repair and were all stripped of useable components (instruments and armament supposedly)."
Oliver C. Doan Diary May 1942
"Buck" Rogers Diary May 1942
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-24 Dauntless piloted by Rogers (incorrectly lists date as May 31, 1942)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis.
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October 23, 2019