On This Day …November 20th.
B-24 Liberator (serial number 41-28853) of the 465th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force explodes in mid-air over Blechammer (Chemical forced labor plant in South Poland) as a result of two direct AAA hits. 20 November 1944. Quite unbelievably six crew members survived this experience.
Lt Col. Clarence J. Lokker (Pilot) KIA).
Capt. Milton H. Duckworth (Co-Pilot) parachute deployment, landed safely then POW.
1st Lt. Joseph P. Kutger (Navigator) parachute deployment, landed safely then POW.
1st Lt. Robert M. Hockman (Bombardier) parachute deployment, landed safely then POW.
1st Lt. Grosvenor W. Rice – (Bombardier) KIA.
2nd Lt. Joseph S. Whalen – (Radar Bombardier) parachute deployment, landed safely then POW.
T/Sgt. Lee R. Billings – (Engineer/Top Turret) – Blown out of the aircraft, then parachute deployment, then POW.
S/Sgt. Edmund J. Miosky (Radio Operator) KIA.
Sgt. James A. Bourne (Gunner) Blown out of the aircraft, then parachute deployment, then POW.
Sgt. Jack Rabkin (Gunner) KIA.
Sgt. Paul H. Flynn, Jr. (Gunner) KIA.
A Mark IV tank of ‘H’ Battalion (‘Hyacinth’) ditched in a German trench while supporting 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment near Ribecourt during the Battle of Cambrai, 20 November 1917. After initial successes against the Germans, more than half the tanks suffered mechanical failure resulting in a massive counter attack and over 90,000 casualties (roughly even between forces) in just over two weeks.
Test pilot Scott Crossfield becomes the first man to exceed Mach 2, piloting a Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket rocket plane dropped from a Navy Superfortress.
SOC Seagull being recovered by cruiser USS Philadelphia, off North Africa, 20th November 1942.
Often a photo just catches a poignant moment. This is the Fw190A-1 of Oblt Walter Schneider (‘Yellow 1’) of JG 26, in November 20, 1941. The yellow tail rudder displays nineteen victory markings; only a few weeks later on the 22nd December Schneider was killed shortly after ‘kill’ number 20.
TBFs from USS Coral Sea (CVE-57) patrol over Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands, November 20, 1943.
U.S. Marines take cover from Japanese fire behind a sea wall on Red Beach Number 3, Tarawa Island. November 20th. Almost two years after Pearl Harbor, the assault by the 2nd Marine Division on a Japanese-held stronghold was utterly brutal. In a three day battle over a thousand Americans were killed, with over two thousand wounded. This was as many casualties suffered in three days as in the six-month campaign on Guadalcanal.