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  A-24 Dive Bomber Serial Number 41-15783  
USAAF
5th AF
3rd BG
8th BS

Click For Enlargement
David Carne c1958

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 916. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-24 Dive Bomber serial number 41-15783. On October 21, 1941 at Savannah, GA. On January 2, 1942 at assigned to Project "X". On January 7, 1942 at McClellan Airfield. On January 8, 1942 disassembled then shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG), 8th Bombardment Squadron (8th BS). This aircraft had an unknown tail number (two digits). No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On May 24, 1942 three A-24s took off took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a flight bound for Aiyura Airfield to rescue the crew of B-25C 41-12478. The three pilots and aircraft are known: Captain Floyd W. Rogers, Doan and Holcomb but not who flew which plane. The three A-24s included this aircraft, A-24 41-15820 and A-24 41-15822. Landing at Aiyura Airfield, two A-24s crashed while landing. Captain Floyd W. Rogers suffered an engine failure while landing and crashed. Doan nosed up while landing and crashed. Only Holcomb managed to land safely.

On May 25, 1942 in the morning the surviving A-24 took off from Aiyura Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt James T. Holcombe with passenger Captain Floyd W. Rogers in the rear position. During take off, the aircraft crashed and flipped over, killing Holcombe who was not wearing his seat belt and injured Rogers. This aircraft was officially condemned on November 7, 1942.


Wreckage
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 Airfield 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 usable components (instruments and armament supposedly)."

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-24-DE Dauntless 41-15783
"USAAF version of SBD-3 / 15783 condemned Nov 7, 1942"
Oliver C. Doan Diary May 1942
Floyd W. "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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Last Updated
May 22, 2021

 

Tech Info
A-24
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