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  A-20G-40-DO "Florida Gator" Serial Number 43-21379 Tail W
USAAF
5th AF
312th BG
388th BS

Pilot  Major William S. Pagh, O-367251 (KIA) FL
Gunner  Sgt. Leonard E. Zelasko, 16146933 (KIA) IL

Crashed  August 11, 1944


Aircraft History
Built at Douglas. Assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group, 388th Bombardment Squadron on August 10, 1944, to pilot Pagh, who nicknamed it "Florida Gator" with nose art of an aligator, after his home state. Crew chief J. S. Wray.

Mission History
On August 11, 1944 took off from Hollandia Airfield at roughly 7:30am on a mission against Utarom. Pagh was leading the strike by 24 aircraft from the 387th BS and 388th BS. Over the target, the organization of the mission broke down and A-20s attacked targets individually.

Pagh attacked two barges anchored off Utarom Airfield, Pagh was hit by anti-aircraft fire from a hill at the end of the runway. Other pilots reported the hill looked like a "solid sheet of flames" from anti-aircraft fire. Damaged in the right engine, this A-20 suddenly lost altitude and cart wheeled into the sea near the target.

Memorials
Both crew were declared dead the day of the mission. Memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
Rampage of the Roarin' 20s pages 205 (profile #15), 213, 156, 349, 384-385

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
A-20
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