|Pilot Lt. George F. O'Neal, O-888774 (survived) Sheveport, LA
Gunner ? (survived)
Crashed January 7, 1944
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. No known nickname or nose art.
Took off from Horanda 4Y Airfield near Dobodura on a mission to
strafe Japanese forces near Arawe. Over the target, this A-20 became lost in the smoke screen over the area to be strafed and hit a tree top and forcing it to ditch off shore. Afterwards, this loss was incorrectly attributed to the aircraft being shot down by friendly anti-aircraft fire.
Mike O'Neal adds:
"The nose art of A-20G-10 Havoc Serial Number 42-54088 was "yankee kid". George ONeal was from sheveport LA and wife was from Milwaukee WI. Son was born 30 oct 43. The Yankee Kid aircraft SN 42-54088 was shot down on 7 January 44 by USN LST according to 89th Sq records. Email with yankee kid nose art jpeg to follow.
Diary of Sgt. Adrian S. Bottge, 3rd Bomb Group, 89th Squadron:
"Friday - 7 January 1944 ". . . One of our planes crash landed in the sea up north. At first it was reported that our Navy shot him down, but actually he lost his bearings in the smoke screen that indicated the area to be strafed and hit a tree top. The Navy did shoot at our planes however. Wonder why they don't get together. One of our planes came back with a damaged horizontal stabilizer and elevator. Explosive bullet hit it."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-20G Havoc 7 January 1944 (does not note pilot or serial number)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis
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January 5, 2018