|Pilot 2nd Lt. Max L. Short (survived) Alameda, CA
Gunner SSgt Charles D. Frazier, 17105967 (survived) Clinton, IA
Ditched March 12, 1944
Built by Douglas. Assigned to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-20-DO Havoc serial number 42-86778. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On March 12, 1944 one of thirty-six A-20s took off from Nadzab Airfield No. 4 (APO 713, Unit 1) piloted by 2nd Lt. Max L. Short on a mission against Boram Airfield west of Wewak. The weather was overcast at 10,000'-15,000' with stratocumulus clouds 8/10 coverage with bottoms at 1,500' and tops at 4,000'.
Returning from the mission, A-20G Havoc 42-86747 piloted by Rutters was to lead the four planes in his section including A-20G 42-86778 (this aircraft) and A-20G 42-86614 back to Nadzab Airfield. Instead, Rutters became lost and separated from the other planes and ditched.
The other aircraft in Rutters' section ran low on fuel and also ditched near shore on the southern coast of New Guinea northwest of Port Moresby. This A-20 ditched into the sea off Port Chalmers (Iokea).
The next day, A-20G Havoc piloted by Major Rosebush unsuccessfully searched for A-20G 42-86730 in the Dumpu area and the southern coast of New Guinea towards Port Moresby. During his search, he spotted two A-20s on the beach, possibly two of the A-20s that ditched or force landed in this area.
Fates of the Crew
The crew survived unhurt and were taken by native people to the Australian Army and transported to Port Moresby where they both returned to duty.
NAA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Max L. Short
NAA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Charles D. Frazier
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-20-DO Havoc
The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon) Tuesday, June 29, 1943 page 4
"Aviation Cadet Max L. Short, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Short, Drew, was graduated recently from the army air forces advanced flying school at Yuma, Arizona. He received primary and basic training at Rankin Air academy, Tulare, Calif., and Le-moore Army Flying school, Le-moore, Calif. He is a graduate of Rosehurg high school, where he lettered in track, and also attended Oregon State college and Pacific college at Stockton, Calif. He is a member of Sigma thi Epsilon fraternity."
Thanks to Keith Hopper and Edward Rogers for additional information.
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February 4, 2018