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41-23813

B-24 Liberator

Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943.

Was lost on January 21,1944 mission to bomb V-weapons sites in the Pas-de-Calais, France area. Repeatedly attacked by fighters until 3 of the engines were knocked out, the co-pilot was killed and the pilot was wounded. With the co-pilot slumped over the controls and only one engine running the wounded pilot couldn't maintain altitude and ordered the crew to bail out. The pilot, co-pilot, ball turret gunner and left waist gunner all were in the plane when it crashed. The ball turret gunner refused to jump and blocked the hatch, while the waist gunner opened his chute inside the plane and was forced to attempt to make it to the bomb bay due to the camera hatch being blocked. Two crewmen either suffered chute failure or jumped too low for them to open properly and were killed. Four were captured and one evaded to make it back to England 4 months later. It was the crews first mission.

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 68th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Edward Bowden

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 3/31/43. ...

  • Lawrence Chandler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Evaded (EVD).

  • Eugene Cieply

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Diehl

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 3/20/42. ...

  • Isaac Flesher

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 3/31/42. ...

  • George Green

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 8/3/42. ...

  • William Jones

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Edward Kaslaskas

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Howard Klekar

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 8/3/42. ...

  • Weldon Maneval

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 8 December 1943. Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Killed in Action (KIA).

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Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57 B...

Events

Event Location Date
Ploesti Survivor Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

Flew on 1st Aug 43, Ploesti oil refinery raid, returning safely to base.

Failed to Return (FTR) France 21 January 1944

Was lost on January 21,1944 mission to bomb V-weapons sites in the Pas-de-Calais, France area. Repeatedly attacked by fighters until 3 of the engines were knocked out, the co-pilot was killed and the pilot was wounded. With the co-pilot slumped over the controls and only one engine running the wounded pilot couldn't maintain altitude and ordered the crew to bail out. The pilot, co-pilot, ball turret gunner and left waist gunner all were in the plane when it crashed. The ball turret gunner refused to jump and blocked the hatch, while the waist gunner opened his chute inside the plane and was forced to attempt to make it to the bomb bay due to the camera hatch being blocked. Two crewmen either suffered chute failure or jumped too low for them to open properly and were killed. Four were captured and one evaded to make it back to England 4 months later. It was the crews first mission. MACR 2358

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 February 2020 14:43:04 general ira snapsorter Changes to description
Sources

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 44th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2015 20:57:30 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, description, events, unit associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

Roger Freeman Photo.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 2358 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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