|Pilot 2nd Lt. William Langley
Ditched April 22,1943
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 89th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed ”Japanese Sandman”. Renamed "Strawberry Roan" after Lieutenant Bill Roan who had red
On April 22,1943 took off from Kila
Drome (3-Mile) near Port Moresby on a training mission. During the flight, Langley had hydraulic trouble and could not lower the landing gear prior to one engine citing out. This A-20 successfully ditched into Bootless
Bay. Both Langley and his
gunner swam safely to shore and were returned to base.
Michael Claringbould adds:
"John Kelly in his diary records the loss date as 22 April 1942. This cannot be, as the first 89th BS A-20As did not arrive in the New Guinea theatre until September 1942. Kelly has clearly mistaken 1943 for 1942 in his diary. The US loss report writes off this aircraft on 23 April 1943, but in fact it was lost the day before, on 22 April 1943 (it is very common to see a one-day lag in US loss reports.) John Kelly's diary, which implies that 40-173 was on a test flight is correct. The ship was being tested after its engine problems of 21 April. John Kelly's diary, which implies that 40-173 was not returning from a mission, but perhaps from a training or test flight is correct the ship was being tested after its engine problems of 21 April ."
Lies on a reef off Loloato
Island inside Bootless Bay, intact. It is a popular
Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site - A-20 Havoc
Thanks to Michael Claringbould for historical information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 4, 2018