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  A-20G-20-DO Havoc Serial Number 42-86616  
5th AF
3rd BG
13th BS

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
MACR  16315

Crew History
Pearson was awarded Silver Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart (posthumously)
Gamage was awarded Air Medal, Purple Heart (posthumously)

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, 13th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 15, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield to attack shipping in Kavieng Harbor. Over the target, this A-20 was reportedly damaged by a bursting bomb dropped by proceeding plane.

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 went to the location we had been given, and could see die marker, some wreckage and a raft. We could not see if anyone was down there though, so we put down in the water to find out for sure. Any open sea landing has a lot of dangers. As I said, there were large swells in the water this day. I tried to align the plane with the swells so we could land with them in the same direction.

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."

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized at the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Thanks to Phil Fazzini and Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech Info


3 Missing

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