|Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert M. Forrestal, O-746073 (MIA / KIA, BR) WI
Radio F/O Harry D. Holley, T-180073 (MIA / KIA) Monroe County, PA
Crashed April 2, 1944
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20C-5-DO Havoc serial number 42-33143. Converted to a night fighter P-70A Havoc and shipped across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 418th Night Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines GR-2600-A5B0 serial numbers 61010 and 58945.
On April 2, 1944 at 5:30pm took off from Saidor Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert M. Forrestal on a mission to air drop supplies over Bogia. This aircraft was never seen or heard from after take off. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
On July 2, 1963, the aircraft was located and partial skeletal remains of the pilot was recovered by an Australian patrol officer (kiap). On May 16, 1964 a team from U. S. Army S5R visited the crash site and after making a thorough search, no further remains were located. Villagers claimed one crew members parachuted out and was taken prisoner by the Japanese and transported southward to Madang.
Both crew were officially declared dead on January 19, 1946. Both crew earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. Both are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
After the recovery of remains in 1963, Forrestal was identified and his remains transported to the United States for permanent burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Janesville, WI.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20C-5-DO Havoc 42-33143
"33143 (P-70A-1, 418th NFS, 5th AF) lost from unknown cause near Madang Papua New Guinea while on mission to drop supplies Apr 2, 1944, SW Pacific. MACR 4074. Both crew killed. Wreckage found Jul 2, 1963, but only one remains found."
Missing Air Crew Report 4074 (MACR 4074)
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File does not list
Holley as an official Prisoner Of War (POW)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-70 Havoc 42-33143 piloted by Forrestal
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert M. Forrestal "remains have been accounted for"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harry D. Holley
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert M Forrestal (photo, tablets of the missing)
Robert M. Forrestal (grave photo)
FindAGrave - FLt O Harry D Holley (tablets of the missing photo)
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March 17, 2019