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B-24 Liberator

Crew of "The Sandman" on the Ploesti raid:
1st Lt. Robert W. Sternfels - Pilot, 2nd Lt. Barney Jackson - CoPilot
2nd Lt. Anthony W. Flesch - Navigator, 2nd Lt. David A. Polaschek - Bombadier
T/Sgt. William W. Stout - Flight Engineer/Gunner, T/Sgt. Frank Just - Radio Operator/Gunner
Sgt. Raymond E. Stewart - Gunner, Sgt. Harry Rifkin - Waist Gunner
Sgt. Merle B. Bowen - Waist Gunner, S/Sgt. John T. Weston - Ball Turret Tail Gunner (WIA - 2nd degree burns on lower right leg)



  • 41-24226 'Utah Man' 'Joisey Bounce'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to Col. Walter T. Stewart of the 330 Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, USAAF for the mission to bomb the refineries at Ploesti Aug 1,1943. Col. Stewart named this plane, 'Utah Man', to underscore his Utah Morman background to all...


  • 9th Air Force
  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

    The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942. ...

  • 345th Bomb Squadron

    345th Bomb Squadron

    Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron and trained by Third Air Force. Deployed to Egypt in June 1942 over South Atlantic Transport Route transiting from Morrison Field, Florida though the Caribbean to Brazil; performed trans-Atlantic...


  • John Kane

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    John Riley Kane (January 5, 1907 – May 29, 1996) was a colonel in the United States Army Air Corps and later the United States Air Force. He received the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II, for his...

  • Royden LeBrecht

    Military | Captain | B-24 Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Lt. Royden LeBrecht was a B-24 Command pilot of the B-24D, #4111761, The 'Squaw' in North Africa in 1942-43. Lt. Lebrecht flew on Operation Tidal Wave, the Aug 1 1943 Ploesti raid, with the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bombardment Group, and the 344th Bomb...

  • Robert Sternfels

    Military | Major | Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Lt. Robert Sternfels was a B-24D command bomber pilot in WWII in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bombing Group, the Pyramiders, and the 345th Bombing Squadron, who flew the famous B-24D bomber, 'The Sandman' on the mission Operation Tidal Wave to bomb the...


  • 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...


  • Benina

    Military site : airfield

  • Mellaha

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Shot Down Augsburg, Germany 19 December 1943

Lost on a mission to Augsburg, Germany on December 19th 1943. Pilot John W Viers, Co-Pilot William Smyser & Navigator Stanley Napierala. MACR 1641.


Date Contributor Update
25 September 2018 17:06:56 Kickapoo Changes to person associations

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2018 17:05:33 Kickapoo Changes to manufacturer and markings

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2018 12:58:27 Kickapoo Changes to person associations and place associations

Burning Hitler's Black gold by Robert Sternfels

Date Contributor Update
21 November 2016 05:07:19 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
17 April 2016 09:24:49 mgs Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
11 March 2015 19:13:55 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, description, events, unit associations and mission associations
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