|Pilot 1st Lt. Harold R. Prince, O-888775 (MIA / KIA) NY
Gunner TSgt Ashford H. Cardwell, 38329361 (MIA / KIA) Shreveport, LA
Engineer TSgt Anthony Zulkus, 11009240 (survived)
Passenger 2nd Lt. Ambrose J. Finnegan, Jr., O-2036172 5th AF, HQ (MIA / KIA) Scranton, PA
Crashed May 14, 1944
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-20-DO Havoc serial number 42-86768. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Tail letter unknown.
On April 5, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by Prokopovitz on a bombing mission against Hollandia.
On April 16, 1944 "Black Sunday" took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Donald W. Dower on a low level strike mission against Hollandia. Returning, the formation encountered a severe weather front. This A-20 belly landed at Saidor Airfield. While sliding across the runway, this aircraft struck P-47D "Dirty Old Man". Damaged, ground crews had extricate the pilot from the twisted fuselage.
Afterwards, this A-20 was officially written off but was repaired and continued flying as a administrative aircraft with the 90th Bombardment Squadron. When lost, engines R-2600-23 serial numbers 42-175009 and 42-175164. Weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.
On May 14, 1944 took off at 5:05pm from Momote Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Harold R. Prince on an administrative flight bound for Nadzab Airfield. This A-20 attempted to ditch in the sea but both engines failed roughly 30' above the sea and it nosed over impacting hard with only Zulkus surviving the crash. The other three aboard failed to surface after the crash and likely went down with the aircraft and were declared Missing In Action (MIA).
The next day Captain Dean and Major Kenneth Rosebush took off on a search mission to locate this aircraft but observed no trace.
The sole survivor
Zulkus was later rescued by a barge and transported to Saidor and later returned to duty.
The three missing crew: Prince, Cardwell and Finnegan were officially declared dead the day of the mission. All three are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Prince earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Cardwell Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart. He also has a memorial marker at Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport, LA.
Finnegan also has a memorial marker at Saint Catherine's Cemetery in Moscow, PA.
Zulkus passed away in August 1963. He is buried at Saint John's Cemetery in Worcester, MA.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Ashford H. Cardwell
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Anthony Zulkus
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Ambrose J. Finnegan, Jr.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-20-DO Havoc 42-86768
"86768 (3rd BG) lost May 15, 1944, SW Pacific."
Missing Air Crew Report 4847 (MACR 4847) created May 17, 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold R. Prince
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ashford H. Cardwell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Ambrose J. Finnegan Jr.
FindAGrave - 1Lt Harold R Prince (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Ashford H Cardwell (tablets of the missing)
Sgt Ashford H Cardwell (obituary, memorial marker photo)
2Lt Ambrose Joseph Finnegan, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Ambrose J Finnegan, Jr (memorial marker photo)
Anthony John Zulkus (grave photo)
Black Sunday (2000) by Michael Claringbould page 96
Diary of Lt. Clifford Taylor, April 16, 1944 "The only report on the 13th was that Dower had crash landed at an emergency strip north of Saidor."
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
May 12, 2019