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|Pilot 2nd Lt James T. Holcombe (KIA, BR)
Passenger Captain Floyd W. Rogers, O-022494 (WIA, survived) Chickasha, OK
Crashed May 25, 1942
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 955. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-24 serial number 41-15822. On October 21, 1941 at Savannah, GA. On January 2, 1942 at assigned to Project "X". On January 7, 1942 at McCellan Airfield. On January 8, 1942 disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG), 8th Bombardment Squadron (8th BS). This aircraft had an unknown tail code (two digits). No known nose art or nickname.
On May 24, 1942 three A-24s took off took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a flight bound for Aiyary 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 41-15783. Landing at Aiyary 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.
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)."
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-24-DE Dauntless 41-15822
"15822 SOC Oct 31, 1944"
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-24 Dauntless pilot Holcombe
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis
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