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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193081
Last updated: 4 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B26 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas A-26B Invader
Owner/operator:642nd BSqn /409th BGp USAAF
Registration: 43-22316
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Hollerath, Nordrhein-Westfalen -   Germany
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
On 25 January 1945, during a raid on Hillesheim, Germany, the A-26B-15 43-22316 of 642nd BS, 409th BG, was shot down by Flak and crashed near Hollerath.

1st Lt Robert James Downing (pilot) POW
Sgt John Anthony Doddo (mechanic gunner) POW
S/Sgt George H Leventon (armorer-gunner) KIA

Testimony of Lt-Col Leo C. Moon, 404th FG:
"On 25 January 1945 at about 1215 hrs I had just called my P-47 flight together after strafing and bombing motor transport five miles due north of Prum, Germany, when I saw a flight of A-26’s that had just bombed a small town five miles to my north east. This was just north west of a small marshalling yard one of my own flights had just been bombing. My wing man said "Look at that burning A-26" and I looked above to see one drop flaming from the center of a flight directly above the target and begin spinning, burning fiercely in the center section all the while. It spun completely to the ground without breaking up in the air, and exploded on contact. It it 1/4 to 1/2 mile east of the target town. My wingman said he sawa chute, and when I had time to look, I saw one chute very low, and saw it go down very close to the wreckage, then I saw another still quite high, probably three to four thousand. The Flak did not seem intense, but was accurate heavy. I did not have time to look for more chutes. I was being flaked at the time. I was low on fuel, and proceeded home after reporting my observations to the fighter control "Marmite"."

Testimony of Capt John C. Moore, Jr., "A" Flight Leader, 642nd BS, 409th BG:
"On 25 January 1945 I was flying as leader of the third flight of a mission of six flights. Lt. Downing was flying in the number six position of the second flight. His flight was about two miles on our left at ten o’clock. Approximately eight miles from the target Lt Downing’s ship seemed to have received a direct hit, because it seemed as though his ship was completely enveloped by flames from the wings back. Apparently still under control he left the formation diving toward the right. That was the last I saw of the ship and my gunners never reported any chutes leaving the ship."

The Germans identified in report KU 3623 the fallen aircraft as an A-20 and said it fell at 1208 hrs near Hollerath, 15 km southwest of Schleiden, Eiffel.

On return from captivity, Downing said he saw Sgt John Doddo, the gunner who sat in front with him, to bail out first and then followed him. The other gunner, Sgt Leventon, was in the rear turret and he was unable to see him as the construction of the A-26 prevented the pilot from seeing into the section of the plane after the bomb-bay. As the plane was hit somewhere in the center section and in the tail section, and went into an immediate spin with gas tanks blazing, he did not believe the rear gunner was able to leave the ship.


MACR 12046 (including KU 3623)

Revision history:

25-Jan-2017 23:18 Laurent Rizzotti Added
03-Feb-2020 19:35 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]
26-Apr-2020 08:49 Reno Raines Updated [Operator, Operator]

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