|Pilot 2nd Lt. Raymond H. Brock, O-805389 (MIA / KIA) OH
Passenger 2nd Lt. Duane G. Hamilton, O-803193 (WIA, survived)
Passenger Cpl Ralph E. Greene, 13143159 (WIA, survived)
Crashed March 20, 1944 at 4:30pm
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the
5th Air Force, 417th Bombardment Group, 672nd Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On March 20, 1944 took off from Gusap Airfield on an administrative flight bound for Dobodura. Another pilot observed this A-20 under control and crash landing at 4:30pm roughly two miles inland from Cape Ward Hunt between the Mambare River and Gira River at approximately Lat 8.46 Long 148.22. The aircraft crashed into a sago swamp. During the crash, the cockpit and nose section broke off killing pilot Brock. Both passengers, Hamilton and Greene were injured in the crash and searched unsuccessfully for Brock.
A rescue party was sent to the crash site that reached the nearest village and walked 14 hours over six miles to reach the site with thirty natives cutting the jungle for them. At first, even the native people refused to walk to this area. Meanwhile, two two paratroopers were landed on the coast roughly 100 yards from the crash site and began cutting paths to the site which took four to seven hours to complete.
At the crash site, they located the two survivors and searched the site unsuccessfully for any sign of Brock. A muddy hole was probed to a depth of 12', but no trace of his body was found. It was believed Brock was still inside the cockpit and buried in the mud and swamp. Afterwards, Hamilton was returned to the United States for combat fatigue. Greene was discharged from the Army due to his injuries.
Brock was officially declared dead on July, 20, 1944. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. He also has a memorial marker at Dayton Memorial Park in section 14, Dayton, OH.
FindAGrave - Lieut Raymond H. Brock (memorial photo)
Thanks to Brian Bennett for additional information
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February 4, 2018