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  A-24 Dive Bomber Serial Number 41-15???  
USAAF
5th AF
3rd BG
8th BS

Pilot  2nd Lt Joseph C. Parker, O-429109 (WIA , KIA or executed July 30, 1942, BR) IA
Gunner  Cpl Franklyn R. Hoppe, 11012172 (WIA, KIA or executed July 30, 1942, BR)

Crashed  July 29, 1942
MARC  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army at Savannah, GA on October 21, 1941. Next to McCellan Airfield and assigned to Project "X" on January 2, 1942, Disassembled on January 8, 1942 and transported overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 8th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On July 29, 1942 one of eight A-24s that took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by Parker on a mission to dive bomb Japanese ships off Gona. They were escorted by P-39 Airacobras from the 41st Fighter Squadron flying top cover, and 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron P-39s flying close escort.

Inbound to the target, one A-24 aborted the mission, and seven remaining A-24s proceeded to bomb Japanese transports 20 miles north of Gona, 1 1/4 miles form shore. The convoy was protected by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai which intercepted the A-24s as they started their dives.

The A-24s dive bombed in two waves. The first wave: A-24 41-15797 (shot down), A-24 piloted by Hill (heavily damaged and force lands at Fall River) and A-24 piloted by Raymond Wilkins (the only aircraft to return to 7-Mile). The second wave: A-24 41-15819, A-24 41-15766, A-24 piloted by Cassels and A-24 piloted by Parker (this aircraft) all four were shot down. The Kotoku Maru, was hit once at the No. 5 hatch by the second wave, forcing its troops to unload and leave its cargo undelivered. The Japanese ships all return to Lae.

This A-24 crash landed in the vicinity of Ambasi. Pilot Parker was injured in the leg, and gunner Hoppe wounded in the hands. Friendly native people led them to the Australian spotters in the vicinity.

On July 30, 1942, a radio report was received from Ambasi stating that four aircrew were safe and that Japanese patrols were in the vicinity. The radio went off the air suddenly. and never came back on.

3rd Bombardment Group, Headquarters reported a radio message from the survivors on July 30, 1942:
"...[A-24 piloted by Parker] crash landed on the north coast of New Guinea near Ambasi due to interception. Radio report received advised that four [Dean, La Rocque, Parker and Hoppe] were safe and that Japanese patrols were in the vicinity. The radio went off the air suddenly, and never came on the air again."

Memorials
Both crew were officially declared dead on July 30, 1942. The remains of both crew members were recovered post war and transported to the Philippines and United States for permanent burial. Joseph C. Parker is buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot L row 1 grave 95. Hoope was buried on April 26, 1950 in a group burial at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery at section I, graves 109-110.

Relatives
Are you a relative of Parker or Hopper? Contact Us

Reference
3rd Bombardment Group, Headquarters reported a radio message from the survivors on July 30, 1942:
"...[A-24 piloted by Parker] crash landed on the north coast of New Guinea near Ambasi due to interception. Radio report received advised that four [Dean, La Rocque, Parker and Hoppe] were safe and that Japanese patrols were in the vicinity. The radio went off the air suddenly, and never came on the air again."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph C. Parker
FindAGrave - 2Lt Joseph C Parker
FindAGrave - Franklyn R Hoppe (grave photo)
Prisoner Base and Home Again page 34,
"Sister Hayman suggested making a better pair of crutches for the American pilot, who had a nasty leg wound, and this took most of the afternoon. The other wounded man, a machine gunner, had splinters from a bursting 'pom-pom' in both hands but, apart from needing help in dressing and feeding, he was able to get along splendidly; he was a tall young cornstalk from Virginia..."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-24 Dauntless piloted by Parker
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information.

Contribute Information
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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
A-24

MIA
MIA
2 Missing
Resolved

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