Bill Wigglesworth with his A-20 Havoc Light Bomber

"Photos/Information courtesy of the US Air Force Museum"

A-20 Havoc Light Bomber

When the U.S. entered WW II, the A-20 attack bomber had already been proven in combat by British and French forces. On July 4, 1942, six A-20s flown by American crews of the 15th Bombardment Squadron accompanied six flown by British crews on a low-altitude mission against four Dutch airfields, the first U.S. daylight bombing raid in Europe. 

The versatile A-20 was used in the Pacific, Middle East, North African, Russian, and European theaters. Some A-20s equipped with radar equipment and additional nose guns were redesignated as P-70s and were used as night fighters until replaced in 1944 by the P-61 "Black Widow" with its increased high altitude performance. 

A-20 production halted in September 1944 with more than 7,000 built for the U.S. and its allies. The A-20G was the first series to have a "solid" nose; the aircraft on display is one of 2,850 -Gs built. It was donated by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company of Chicago in 1961, and is painted as "Little Joe" of the 5th Air Force, 312th Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Squadron. 


  • Span: 61 ft. 4 in. 
  • Length: 48 ft. 
  • Height: 17 ft. 7 in. 
  • Weight: 26,580 lbs. loaded 
  • Armament: Eight .50-cal. machine guns; 2,000 lbs. of bombs internally; 2,000 lbs. externally 
  • Engines: Two Wright R-2600s of 1,600 hp. ea. 
  • Cost: $74,000 
  • Serial Number: 43-22200 (displayed as 43-21475) C/N: 21637 

  • Maximum speed: 317 mph. 
  • Cruising speed: 230 mph. 
  • Range: 1,025 miles 
  • Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft. 


United States Army Air Corp
47th Bombardment Group, 84th Bombardment Squadron

Constituted as 47th Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Patrolled the west coast for several weeks after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, then trained for duty overseas. 

Moved to North Africa, Oct-Nov 1942. Assigned to Twelfth AF. Served in the Mediterranean theater until the end of the war, using A-20's and (after Jan 1945) some A-26's for support and interdictory operations in which the group attacked such targets as tanks, convoys, bivouac areas, troop concentrations, supply dumps, roads, pontoon bridges, rail lines, and airfields. Also flew numerous night intruder missions after Jun 1944. Began operations by flying low-level missions against the enemy in North Africa during the period Dec 1942-May 1943. 

When Axis forces broke through at Kasserine Pass in Feb 1943, the 47th Group, though undermanned and undersupplied, flew eleven missions on 22 Feb to attack the advancing armored columns and thus to help stop the enemy's offensive - an action for which the group was awarded a DUC. 

Remained active in combat during Mar and Apr 1943 while training for medium-level bombardment. Participated in the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusa in Jun 1943 and the invasion of Sicily in Jul. Bombed German evacuation beaches near Messina in Aug. Supported British Eighth Army during the invasion of Italy in Sep. Assisted the Allied advance toward Rome, Sep 1943-Jun 1944. Supported the invasion of Southern France, Aug-Sep 1944. Attacked German communications in northern Italy, Sep 1944-Apr 1945. 

Received second DUC for performance from 21 to 24 Apr 1945 when, in bad weather and over rugged terrain, the group maintained operations for 60 consecutive hours, destroying enemy transportation in the Po Valley to prevent the organized withdrawal of German forces. Returned to the US in July 1945. Trained and participated in maneuvers. Equipped with B-45's in 1948. Inactivated on 2 Oct 1949.

Activated on 12 Mar 1951. Assigned to Tactical Air Command and equipped with B-45's. Moved to England, May-Jun 1952, and assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Inactivated on 8 Feb 1955.

Squadrons. 84th: 1941-1949; 1951-1955. 85th: 1941-1949; 1951-1955. 86th: 1941-1949; 1954-1955. 97th: 1941-1946. 422d: 1953-1954.


  • McChord Field, Wash, 15 Jan 1941; 
  • Fresno, Calif, 14 Aug 1941; 
  • Will Rogers Field, Okla, c. 16 Feb 1942; 
  • Greensboro, NC, c. 16 Jul-18 Oct 1942; 
  • Mediouna, French Morocco, 18 Nov 1942; 
  • Youks-les-Bains, Algeria, 7 Jan 1943; 
  • Canrobert, Algeria, 6 Mar 1943; 
  • Thelepte, Tunisia, 30 Mar 1943; 
  • Souk-el-Arba, Tunisia, 13 Apr 1943; 
  • Soliman, Tunisia, c. 1 Jul 1943; 
  • Malta, 21 Jul 1943; 
  • Torrente Comunelli, Sicily, 9 Aug 1943; 
  • Gerbini, Sicily, 20 Aug 1943; 
  • Grottaglie, Italy, 24 Sep 1943; 
  • Vincenzo Airfield, Italy, 15 Oct 1943; 
  • Vesuvius Airfield, Italy, c. 10 Jan 1944; 
  • Capodichino, Italy, 22 Mar 1944; 
  • Vesuvius Airfield, Italy, 25 Apr 1944; 
  • Ponte Galeria, Italy, c. 10 Jun 1944; 
  • Ombrone Airfield, Italy, 27 Jun 1944; 
  • Corsica, 11 Jul 1944; 
  • Salon, France, 7 Sep 1944; 
  • Follonica, Italy, 18 Sep 1944; 
  • Rosignano Airfield, Italy, Oct 1944; 
  • Grosseto, Italy, 11 Dec 1944; 
  • Pisa, Italy, Jun-24 Jun 1945; 
  • Seymour Johnson Field, NC, 11 Jul 1945; 
  • Lake Charles AAFld, La, Sep 1945; 
  • Biggs Field, Tex, 20 Oct 1946; 
  • Barksdale AFB, La, 19 Nov 1948-2 Oct 1949. 
  • Langley AFB, Va, 12 Mar 1951-12 May 1952; 
  • Sculthorpe, England, 1 Jun 1952-8 Feb 1955.

Commanders. Maj William A Schulgen, 15 Jan 1941; Lt Col Hilbert M Wittkop, unkn; Col Frederick R Terrell, Jan 1942; Col Malcolm Green Jr, 17 May 1943; Lt Col Kenneth S Wade, 1 Apr 1945; Col Marvin S Zipp, 28 Aug 1945; Col Robert Hughey, 23 Nov 1945; Lt Col Broadus B Taylor, 27 Aug 1946; Col Gerald E Williams, 30 Aug 1946; Lt Col Stebbins W Griffith, 5 Jun 1947; Lt Col Frederick E Price, Aug 1947; Col Willis F Chapman, 10 Oct 1947-2 Oct 1949. Col Benjamin C Willis, 12 Mar 1951; Col David M Jones, Sep 1951; Col Galen B Price, 20 Feb 1952; Lt Col Hubert M Blair, unkn; Col Galen B Price, 1954-c. Feb 1955.

Campaigns. American Theater; Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Po Valley.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: North Africa, 22 Feb 1943; Po Valley, 21-24 Apr 1945.

Insigne. Shield: Or, in chief, a bomb sable, point downward, winged gules, surmounting an arc, reversed and couped, azure, all above a stylized cloud indication, of the second, emitting four lightning flashes gules toward base. (Approved 26 Oct 1951.)

Bill Wigglesworth with his A-20 Havoc Light Bomber
"Princess Ruthie"

Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Metal 
Bill with his A-20 Havoc Light Bomber
Memorial Service
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