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  A-20G-45-DO "Bug Eyes" Serial Number 43-22161 Tail Y
5th AF
312th BG
388th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Albert H. Franz (survived)
Gunner  Cpl Eugene S. Stranz (survived)

Ditched  January 9, 1945
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built at Douglas. Assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group on October 25, 1944. Assigned to pilot Hube with crew chief Yoes. Nicknamed "Bug Eyes".

Mission History
On January 9, 1945 took off from Tanauan Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Albert H. Franz armed with 100 lbs parademo bombs on a mission against Talisay Airfield on Negros Island. While attacking the runway at 50' altitude, this A-20 was hit in the left engine by anti-aircraft fire, and oil pressure dropped to zero, and failed to feather in the damaged engine.

This A-20 ditched 600' west of Guimaras Island in the Guimaras Strait. Franz suffered minor wounds during the ditching and both crew got into their life raft as the A-20 sank 30 seconds after ditching. After the ditching, Filipinos lined the shore and assisted the crew to safety and Franz wounds were treated by a doctor in Libis village.

Filipinos suggested they sail to Panay in case their crash had been observed by the Japanese. When they departed, they encountered a storm, and sheltered on eastern Guimaras Island for two day until the weather passed.

Arriving on Panay, they were fired on by Japanese forces but safely arrived guerilla headquarters at Buyo on January 13 to a guerilla headquarters. Departing on January 20, the crew were taken by truck to Rototan, foot for Passi and railroad to Sante Angel (aboard a railroad handcar). Arriving at Dumarao Airfield on the 22, were picked up by C-47 and returned to Leyte.

Discovered by local fisherman, 600 yards off Iloilo between Panay and Negros. In February 2002, former pilot, Al Franz visited the island, in an attempt to locate his former aircraft.

John Happy, 312th BG reports:
"Al Franz and his group went to Palau in February 2002, to try to find Al's A-20 was unsuccessful. Supposedly, a fisher man had hooked a net on the tail of the bird (as reported by a scuba diver) in about 40 feet of water. The local charts said the water depth was 6-7 fathoms (36-42 feet), But when they dove, they ran into silt at 20' with about 12" of visibility. No luck."

Rampage of the Roarin' 20's pages 190 (map), 231-232, 362
Thanks to John Happy for additional information.

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Last Updated
September 6, 2018


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