DescriptionThe Douglas A-20 (company designation DB-7) is an American medium bomber
The Douglas A-20 Havoc (company designation DB-7) is an American medium bomber, attack aircraft, night intruder, night fighter, and reconnaissance aircraft of World War II.
Designed to meet an Army Air Corps requirement for a bomber, it was ordered by France for their air force before the USAAC decided it would also meet their requirements. French DB-7s were the first to see combat; after the fall of France the bomber, under the service name Boston continued with the Royal Air Force. From 1941, night fighter and intruder versions were given the service name Havoc. In 1942 USAAF A-20s saw combat in North Africa.
In most British Commonwealth air forces, the bomber variants were known as Boston, while the night fighter and intruder variants were named Havoc. The exception was the Royal Australian Air Force, which used the name Boston for all variants. The USAAF used the P-70 designation to refer to the night fighter variants.
RAAF Bostons included Mk IIIs (A-20C) with transparent noses for bomb-aimers, and Mk IVs (A-20G) with enclosed gun-carrying nose. Most Mk IIIs were modified to Mk IV standard, and other improvements included the installation of long-range tanks and increased armament. The 69 RAAF Bostons were numbered A28-1/40 and A28-59/78, and were taken on strength between 29 March 1942 and 4 October 1944.
The Bostons served with No 22 Squadron where their operations became known as "Boston Tea Parties" and individual aircraft became legendary. Wing Commander Learmonth's "She's Apples" set a South-West Pacific bombing record; Flight Lieutenant Williamson's A28-5 was belly-landed with a bomb load and was back in operations within hours; and, most famous of all, Flight Lieutenant Bill Newton's A28-3 crashed off Salamaua on 18 March 1943, prior to his post-humous Victoria Cross award.
Ironically, 13 Bostons were damaged by an enemy air raid at Morotai on 23 November 1944, at a time when No 22 Squadron had been notified that it was to re-equip with Beaufighters. By 1946, the few remaining Bostons had been either returned to the USAAF or issued for disposal.
For more details about the development and operational history, incluing the countries in which it served, and details of the twenty three variants, click here.
Specifications below from the RAAF Museum website are for the Boston Mk III (A-20C) variant.
- 3 crew
- 14.48 m (47 ft 6 in)
- 18.69 m (61 ft 4 in)
- 5.36 m (17 ft 7 in)
- Empty Weight:
- 6827 kg (15 051 lb)
- loaded 10 660 kg (23 500 lb)
- Two 1,600 hp Wright Double-Row Cyclone GR-2600-A5B.
- Max speed 544 km/h (294 kt
- Cruise Speed:
- 439 km/h (237 kt)
- 1199 km (647 nm)
- Service Ceiling:
- 27,600 ft (8412 m)