|Pilot 2nd Lt William N. Sleeth, O-782801 360th ASG, HQ (MIA / KIA) CA
Gunner Cpl Wendell H. Shepherd, 35221683 360th ASG, HQ (MIA / KIA) OH
Gunner Cpl Gordon O'Brien, 13179254 360th ASG, HQ (MIA / KIA) PA
Crashed February 9,
Built at Douglas. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 312th Bombardment Group, 388th Bombardment Squadron during February 1944. Nicknamed "Shag On", with a seated woman looking over her shoulder and opening her brassiere. Also "Passionate Peggy" painted on the left gun access panel. Assigned to pilot 2n Lt. M. D. Gentry whose regular gunner was Lyle Ferguson and crew chief SSgt Fry. This A-20 was base at Gusap Airfield during March - May 1944 flying combat missions, it remained in service with the squadron until October 1944.
Afterwards, assigned to the 8th Service Group, 360th Service Squadron part of the FEAF - CRTC School (Far East Air Force - Combat Replacement Training Center) based at Nadzab Airfield. When lost engines R-2600-23 serial number 43-105590 and R-2600-A5DO constructors number 37276.
On February 9,
1945 took off from Nadzab Airfield as part of a four plane formation assigned to attack installations on the
east of Muschu Island at
8:00am. While dropping its bombs, this A-20 observed by the other planes in the formation to disappeared and a larger
column of smoke and fire was obsered on the beach at the
water's edge. The cause of the crash
was unknown. The entire crew was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Postwar, during iinterrogations of Japanese Prisoners Of War (POW), (AWM 54 1010/9/88) Sgt-Maj TsuTsui Makato from 33 machine cannon company claims to have shot down aircraft.
The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission and are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-20A Havoc 43-9134
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William N. Sleeth
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wendell H. Shepherd
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Gordon O'Brien
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's pages 56, 62 (photo), 198 (color photo), 355, 370 (photo), 374 (photo)
Other sources state this aircraft was assigned to the 7th Aerodrome Squadron
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February 4, 2018