One of our favorite Queensland resident Warbirds is Douglas A20G Havoc #42-86786 currently residing at the RAAF Amberley Heritage Centre.
This particular Havoc was manufactured in the USA in 1942 and flew in the Pacific with the 388th Bomber Squadron of the 312th Bombardment Group, 5th Air Force USAAF.
On Sunday, 16th April 1944 (known as “Black Sunday” due to the number of aircraft losses that day) the aircraft crash landed near Annamoin Village (New Guinea). Both the crew survived and was rescued by Australian Navy personnel.
The aircraft stayed in situ until it was one of a number of A20 aircraft recovered by the RAAF Chinook helicopters.
Havoc #42-86786 was then transported to Australia and restored over a period at RAAF Wagga and the RAAF Amberley under a Warbird restoration team led by Dennis Doggett. The aircraft was restored by 1996 Second Lieutenant Charles Davidson who had piloted the aircraft on that fateful day attended the roll out ceremony with his wife Thelma.
This is a very rare beast indeed as very few A20 aircraft survive to this day with perhaps a couple more to be restored from crash wrecks. We are very lucky to have this wonderful Warbird on display in Queensland and an example that has been so completely restored.
© John Parker 2015