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  A-20A "Minnie Ha Ha / Cleo III" Serial Number 40-170  
USAAF
5th AF
3rd BG
89th BS

Pilot  Captain Donald E. "Buck" Good (survived) OR
Gunner  S/Sgt Joseph Fox, 18048416 (POW, executed March 30, 1943) OH
Photographer  Pvt William M. Ramsey, 17034750 (MIA / KIA) MO

Ditched  March 26, 1943


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 when the unit converted from A-24 Dive Bombers. Nicknamed "Minnie Ha Ha". Later, the aircraft was nicknamed "Cleo III".

Mission History
On March 26, 1943 took off from Dobodura Airfield. Attacked its secondary target Salamaua and was a hit in the No. 2 engine by anti-aircraft fire, which set the engine on fire. After battling the fire, the heat became too intense and the rear two crew bailed out at 1,000' approximate two miles out to sea off the coast of Lae. Two A-20s circled protectively over the two men who had bailed out. When they departed, they could still see a man swimming in the sea towards shore.

Fates of the Crew
After the capture of Lae, the translation of a Japanese officer's diary revealed that at about this time, an American air men swam ashore near Salamaua and was captured by the Japanese. He was incarcerated and later beheaded by the Japanese. Intelligence concluded that this was S/Sgt. Fox.

Japanese POW Naohei Okabe stated:
"Sgt. Fox was captured by the Japanese on March 30, 1943 [Walolo] and taken to Lae. Natives named Nikkas and Kupay saw and heard of the interrogation. POW was handed over to 7th Naval Base Force"

Ramesey was never captured and probably never made it to shore and likely drown or otherwise died. He remains Missing In Action.

Pilot Good was able to fly further south to the vicinity of Labu, where he successfully ditched and deployed the life raft and paddled to shore. Assisted by a missionary, he was transported aboard a barge operated by the U. S. Army 41st Infantry Division and was returned to duty.

Memorials
Crew members Ramsey and Fox were officially declared dead on December 17, 1945. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) lists Ramsey assigned to the 90th Bombardment Squadron.
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information.

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
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Last Updated
April 24, 2018

 

Tech Info
A-20

MIA
MIA
1 Prisoner
2 Missing

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