|Pilot 2nd Lt James T. Holcombe (KIA, BR)
Passenger Captain Floyd W. Rogers (WIA, survived)
Crashed May 25, 1942
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army at Savannah, GA on October 21, 1941. Next to McClellan Airfield on January 7, 1942. Assigned to Project "X" on January 2, 1942, Disassembled on January 8, 1942 shipped overseas to Australia 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-24s: this aircraft, A-24 41-15820 and A-24 41-15783 (piloted by Rogers, Doan & Holcomb) crash land at Aiyura Airfield in an attempt to rescue the crew of B-25C 41-12478 It is not clear which pilot flew which A-24. While landing, two crashed: Captain Rogers sufferend an engine failure on landing and Doan nosed up. Only Holcombe landed safely.
During the morning of May 25, 1942 took off from Aiyura Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt James T. Holcombe with passenger Captain Floyd Rogers in the rear gunner's position. During take off, the A-24 crashed and flipped over, killing Holcombe who was not wearing his seat belt and Rogers was injured in the crash.
This aircraft was officially condemned on November 7, 1942.
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 usable components (instruments and armament supposedly)."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-24 Dauntless pilot Holcombe
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis.
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February 14, 2020