- Posted September 12, 2013 by
Garden Banks 427
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Home and Away: Remembering the fallen
Missing WWII Aircrew Headed to Arlington
A-20G-10-DO Havoc Serial Number 42-54082
Pilot 2nd Lt. Valerie L. Pollard, O-749490 (MIA / KIA) CA
Gunner Sgt Dominic J. Licari, 32292046 (MIA / KIA) NY
One of nine A-20s that took off from Gusap Airfield led by Major Wells a mission attacking Alexishafen Airfield at 8:30am. Returning from the mission in the afternoon, the formation of eight A-20s was low on fuel and were following Ken Hedges in bad weather into the Finisterre Range. This aircraft plus A-20G 42-54085 and A-20G 42-54117. slammed into a mountainside in the Finisterre Range.
The next day, the 398th Bombardment Squadron A-20s searched for the missing A-20s, but found no trace of them, and continued to search for the next week and other 5th Air Force aircraft were notified to search.
Col. Strauss (312th BG C. O.) in 1985 referred to the loss of those six boys "a damned waste", he always felt responsible.
This crash site was discovered at 9,500' 15 miles south of Saidor area, as badly smashed wreckage. Visited by US Army CILHI in September 1983, but no remains were recovered. Visited again on August 22, 1990.
This was Lt. Pollard's first mission.
Sep. 12, 2013
WWII AIRMAN ACCOUNTED-FOR
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Pers
onnel Office (DPMO) announced today that two U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II,
have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are Army Air Force 2nd Lt. Valorie L. Pollard, 25, of Monterey, Calif. and Sgt. Dominick J. Licari, 31, of Frankfort, N.Y. Remains representing Pollard and Licari, will be buried as a group in a single casket, on Sept. 19, at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. The individually-identified remains of Licari were buried on Aug 6, in Frankfort, N.Y.
On March 13, 1944, Pollard and Licari were crew
members of an A-20G Havoc bomber that failed to return to base in a country now known as Papua New Guinea. The aircraft crashed after attacking enemy targets on the island. In 2012 the A-20G crash site in the mountains of Papua New Guinea was excavated and the remains of Licari and Pollard were recovered.
There are more than 400,000 American service members that were killed during WWII, and the remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or identified.
For additional information on the Defense
Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.
The aircraft in the photo is one of the other two listed as missing from this mission.
Additional information for this report is from the Pacific Wrecks website.