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|Pilot 1st Lt. William T. Pearson, O-795445 (MIA
/ KIA) NY
Gunner M/Sgt Donald N. Gamage, 11050806 (MIA / KIA) MA
Crashed February 15, 1944 at 10:00am
Observed after departing the target with the right engine on fire and the propeller feathered. Crash around 10:00am at approximately 35 miles SSW of Kavieng. The plane was observed to cartwheel and break into three pieces when making a water landing. The pieces sank within three minutes, with no apparent survivors. Other A-20s circled the crash twice before departing.
Nathan G. Gordon, pilot of PBY "Arkansas Traveler" 08139 recalls:
We dropped a smoke bomb at one end, and another down at the far end of where I wanted to land to judge the wind. We were going to land in between the swells. I made a good landing by power stalling the plane. This meant bring it in really slow and cutting the power so the plane drops out of the sky straight down to land in the shortest distance. When the plane hit the water, the crew reported that some rivets had popped out of the bottom pontoon!
I pulled the plane up so that the guys in the fuselage could investigate. There was no sign of the crew, they must have been dead or drowned. We found some debris - oil, dye marker two life jackets and a half inflated raft."
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