9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Aircraft Accident Report 44-10-18-21

October 18, 1943, Monday




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Aircraft Serial Number (Type): 41-19094 (Douglas A-20C Havoc)

3rd AF; 416th Bomb Gp; 670th Bomb Sq

Reason: Killed In Crash Ground Collision [Crashed Into Trees] (KCRGC)

Damage: Completely destroyed (5)

Point Of Departure: Lake Charles AAFld, Louisiana

Location: Two miles northeast of the Army Air Field at Lake Charles, Louisiana

Duty Name Rank S/N Status
Pilot Duthu, Robert John 1Lt O-736160 Seriously Injured
Bombardier/Navigator Jones, Herman Carlton Jr. 2Lt O-749966 KIT
Gunner Lee, Robert E. Jr. S/Sgt 20450748 Seriously Injured

Nature of Accident: Airplane flew into ground while attempting to land at Air Field.

Cause of Accident: Pilot had returned with three-ship formation from cross-country trip to Barksdale Field. A haze of smoke and fog had moved over the field. The pilot made five attempts at landing, and on sixth attempt flew into the ground.

About 2000 on the night of the 18th, while night flying in weather that had moved in quite rapidly, 1st Lt John H. White, and his gunner, Cpl David S. Eckert, were killed when their plane crashed. Second Lieutenant Herman C. Jones, Bombardier-Navigator, was killed while flying with 1st Lt Robert J. Duthu; they overshot the field in bad weather. Lt Duthu was severly injured, but recovered.
(416th BG History 1943)

10-18-43I. Lake Charles, Louisiana. At 2125,a Douglas A-20G crashed into trees two miles northeast of the Army Air Field at Lake Charles, Louisiana, while flying over the wreckage of an A-20G that had flew into the trees just two minutes earlier. Bombardiernavigator 2Lt. Herman C. Jones, Jr. was killed in the crash and pilot 1Lt. Robert J. Duthu and gunner SSgt. Robert E. Lee, Jr. were seriously injured. The airplane was part of a flight of three A-20G airplanes that was returning to the field after a night formation and crosscountry navigation flight. Investigators noted that a thick formation of fog, haze and smoke had entered the area at about 2100. The surviving pilots reported that visibility was adversely affected. The flight had approached the field for landing when one of the airplanes flew into the trees and exploded. Lt. Duthu flew over the burning wreckage and reported the accident to the control tower when he also flew into the trees. The airplane did not burn but was completely demolished. See 10-18-43H.
(Mireles, Vol. 2, Pg. 553)