A truly international warbird, the A-20 was the most produced US attack aircraft of WWII. A dependable attack, light bomber and night fighter designed in 1938, saw action in every theatre of war.
A20G Havoc #42-86786 “Hell’n Pelican” was operated by the 388th Bomber Squadron of the 312th Bomb Group and recovered by a RAAF Chinook helicopter from near Annamoin Village, Papua New Guinea, in September 1984.
The aircraft had crashed onto a flat field covered with long kunai grass about 100 metres from the nearest tree having run out of fuel returning from a mission from Gusap, New Guinea to attack Hollandier on Sunday, 16th April 1944, “Black Sunday”. Crew members were picked up by Royal Australian Navy stores carrier HMAS Matafele on 1 May 1944 in Madang Harbour after they made their way down the Gogol River.
When recovered, the aircraft was in a remarkable, well preserved and complete condition although the turret guns had been removed.
After restoration, the Havoc was officially handed over to the Papua New Guinea Government in a ceremony on 12 September 1996 at RAAF Amberley.
Second Lieutenant Charles Davidson who had piloted the aircraft on that fateful day attended the ceremony with his wife Thelma.