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  A-20A "Little Hellion / The Steak & Eggs" Serial Number 40-166  
USAAF
5th AF
3rd BG
89th BS

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November 1, 1942

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circa Dec 42 - Feb 43
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circa Aug 43 - June 44
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June 11, 1944
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Alan Clay 2003
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Alan Clay 2007

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 89th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Little Hellion" with the nose art of a girl next to a palm tree with nose number 13.

On November 1, 1942 took off from 3 Mile Drome (Kila Kila) near Port Moresby piloted by Ford on a strike mission against Lae. This was Ford's thirteenth combat mission. Over the target, damaged by anti-aircraft fire that ruptured the hydraulic lines forcing it to make a wheels up, flaps up force landing at 7-Mile Drome. Afterwards, this aircraft was written off.

Afterwards, inspected again and deemed not to be as heavily damaged as initially assessed. The aircraft was towed back to 3 Mile Drome (Kila Kila) and placed onto empty 55 gallon fuel drums.

Over two months, this A-20 was repaired using parts from A-20A Havoc 39-724 which also suffered a landing accident. New engines were installed and the aircraft completely rebuilt. Equipment including the armor plating, guns and bomb racks were removed. 3rd Bomb Group mechanics including Kip Hawkins and Joe Long worked on this aircraft.

When completed, the aircraft still bore the tail serial number 40-166 and made a test flight on February 4, 1943 piloted by Captain Petri. Renamed "The Steak and Eggs Special". On February 21, 1943 departed Port Moresby piloted by Lt. H Brown with two passengers and 200 Pounds to purchase steak, fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia, and returned three days later.

During the next six months, this aircraft was used as a "fat cat" on supply runs from New Guinea to Australian cities including Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane and Sydney for fresh food, vegetables, eggs and liquor. During early May 1943, moved with the squadron to Dobodura.

During August 1943, stripped to a bare metal finish with a red and white stripped tail. The nickname was changed to "Steak and Eggs" and later "Steak & Eggs" on both sides of the nose.

During November 1943 this aircraft piloted by H.D. Brown with passenger Lt. Lauer flew under the Sydney Harbor Bridge before landing at Mascot (Sydney Airfield).

At the end of January 1944, this aircraft moved with the squadron to Nadzab Airfield. Since this aircraft did not officially exist in unit records, precisely how many fat cat missions this aircraft flew is unknown.

Mission History
On June 11, 1944 while flying in Queensland, Australia piloted by Lt. Rude Vucelic with five passengers aboard including the crew chief. This A-20 was caught in bad weather and ran low on fuel. Force landed on a beach on the northwest side of Low Wooded Island, near Cooktown. Passenger Lt Kennedy who was in the nose injured his shoulder during the landing, and four others escaped reasonably well.

Wreckage
After the crash, a salvage party did visit the aircraft, but a complete salvage was deemed too difficult. Today, the wreckage still remains on the beach including the two engines and wing section of the wreckage.

References
Oz @ War - Steak & Eggs

3rdattackgroup.org - Steak & Eggs

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
A-20

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