|Pilot 1st Lt. James L. Scarlott, O-738478 (MIA / KIA, BR) Canton, OH
Gunner SSgt George D. Henderson, 39826078 (MIA / KIA, BR) Payette, ID
Photographer SSgt Daniel G. O’Connell, 33286603 (MIA / KIA, BR) Glassport, PA
Crashed March 12, 1944
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-20-DO Havoc serial number 42-86618. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2600-23 serial numbers 42-155164 and 42-155167. Weapon serial numbers unknown.
On March 12, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield No. 4 (APO 713, Unit 1) piloted by 1st Lt. James L. Scarlott as one of thirty-six A-20s on a low level strike mission against Boram Airfield west of Wewak. Over the target, this aircraft and A-20G 42-86625 were lagging behind the formation while making their strafing run over the target. Last seen halfway down the run. When this aircraft failed to return and was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
No search was made for this aircraft.
During 1947, this crash site was located by Lt. A. G. Liguigan, F. O. D. 2A of Wewak at at roughly Lat 3.425 Long 143.25E roughly three miles northwest of Japaraka. During December 1947, the crash site was investigated and identified by RAAF Searcher Team led by S/L Keith Rundle.
Recovery of Remains
During December 1947 the unidentifiable remains of two of the crew delivered to American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) at Finschafen. These remains were later identified to be Henderson and O’Connell.
At the time, Scarlott was declared unrecoverable.
During 1970, students at the nearby school located Scarlott's dog tag and remains. At team of Australians recovered his remains and transported them Port Moresby. On September 17, 1970 a crate with human remains recovered from the crash site was transported aboard a RAAF C-130 Hercules from Jackson Airport to RAAF Richmond and were delivered to the U. S. Consulate General in Sydney.
Scarlott and O'Connell were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both were memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Henderson was buried at Riverside Cemetery in Payette, ID.
After the recovery of remains, Scarlott was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Canton, OH. Scarlott also has a memorial marker at Forest Hill Cemetery in Canton, OH in Laurel Section Facing West, Row 5. O'Connell is buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot H Row 15 Grave 144.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-20-DO Havoc 42-86618
"86618 (3rd BG) lost Mar 12, 1944, SW Pacific. MACR 4092"
Missing Air Crew Report 4092 (MACR 4092)
RAAF Status Card - Boston A-20G 42-86618
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James L. Scarlott
"His remains were recovered and buried in a private cemetery in Ohio"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Daniel G. O'Connell
FindAGrave - James L Scarlott (grave photo)
George D. Henderson (grave photo)
James L Scarlott (memorial marker)
George D. Henderson (grave photo)
NAA: 410/1/306/49A Visit during March 1970
NAA "Research for missing personnel SWPA information relating to US aircraft & crews"
NAA: A703 614/1/25 PART 8 12188106
Report on investigation into WWII aircraft wreckage near Wewak TPNG
"1. A Directorate of Flying Safety investigation was carried out over 2nd - 6th March 1970 into reported aircraft wreckage some 30 miles from Wewak. The wreckage was indicated to be a twin engined American aircraft dating from WWII."
Letter from the Embassy of the United States to Secretary of the dept of the Air Offices Canberra, March 31, 1970
Canton Repository "Canton WWII pilot's remains are found" April 1971, page 1
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis.
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April 20, 2019