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  A-20G-30-DO Havoc Serial Number 43-9499  
USAAF
5th AF
312th BG

389th BS

Pilot   1st Lt Walter S. Sparks, O-735680 (MIA / KIA) NV
Gunner  Sgt Howard F. Williams (WIA, rescued)

Crashed  July 9, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built at Douglas. Assigned to the 417th Bombardment Group. On March 20, 1944 transferred to the 312th Bombardment Group, 389th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
One of twenty-four A-20s from the 388th and 389th Bombardment Squadron led by Col. Strauss that took off from Hollandia Airfield on a low level mission against Babo Airfield.

Attacking at low level flying over the Kasira River, the 388th attacked first, six planes abreast. As A-20s of the 389th followed, anti-aircraft fire had adjusted their fire and this A-20 was hit in both engines forcing it to ditch into Bentoni Bay near Babo. Also lost were A-20G 42-86720 and A-20G 43-21430.

Fates of the Crew
During the ditching, Sparks with thrown clear of the cockpit and landed 50' from the aircraft but fractured both his arms and drowned before he was able to inflate his life vest and drown before Williams who was also wounded was able to reach him. He dived down unsuccessfully to locate him and his body was never recovered.

Rescue
Williams was rescued by a U. S. Navy PBY Catalina that observed sharks circling nearby. Saved, he returned to duty.

Memorials
Sparks was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's pages 144-146, 365

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
A-20

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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