416th Bombardment Group (L)
Aircraft Accident Report 44-10-18-19
October 18, 1943, Monday
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Aircraft Serial Number (Type): 42-53791 (Douglas A-20G-5-DO Havoc)
3rd AF; 416th Bomb Gp; 668th Bomb Sq
Reason: Killed In Crash Ground Collision [Flew Into Trees] (KCRGC)
Damage: Completely destroyed (5)
Point Of Departure: Lake Charles AAFld, Louisiana
Location: Four miles north of the Army Air Field at Lake Charles, Louisiana
Nature of Accident: Airplane flew into the trees 2 Mi. NE of Field, while attempting to land.
Cause of Accident: Returned to Field with three-ship formation and found fairly dense smoke and fog over flying field. On attempting to land, flew into trees, hit the ground, exploded and caught fire.
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.
(416th BG History 1943)
10-18-43H. Lake Charles, Louisiana. At 2123, a Douglas A-20G attempting a landing flew into trees two miles northeast of the Army Air Field and Lake Charles, Louisiana, killing 2Lt. John W. White and gunner Cpl. David S. Eckert. The airplane was returning from a night formation/cross-country navigation flight when it flew into the terrain and exploded. Investigators noted that a thick formation of fog, haze and smoke entered the area at about 2100. Other pilots reported that visibility was adversely affected. Another A-20G in the flight of three crashed two minutes later while flying over the burning wreckage. See 10-18-43I.
(Mireles, Vol. 2, Pgs. 552-553)