B-24D 'Hadley's Harem' Lt. Gib Hadley's # 41-24311 in Benghazi 1943.
B-24D 'Hadley's Harem' - Istanbul Turkey, 2018
First Lieutenant Gilbert "Gib" Hadley, the well liked young pilot in the 344th bomb Squadron of the 98th Bomb Group, and 9th Air Force. He named his airplane 'Hadley's Harem' to denote how many women he said were fond of him. hadley flew on "Operation Tidal Wave" with his friends in the 344th Bomb Squadron of the 98th Bombardment Group and bombed his target, White IV, at Ploesti, Aug 1 1943. He survived attacking Ploesti and had joined Col. John Kane south of Ploesti to fly home. He made it as far as the south Turkish coast close to Nicosia, Cyprus, but had to turn a away from the group in the darkness due to low fuel, and tried to ditch his B-24 just off the Turkish beach but was trapped in the plane's collapsed cockpit and drowned.
# 42-40753 ~ B-24D 'OLE KICKAPOO' - Command Pilot 2nd Lt. Lloyd Hughes, Copilot 2ndLt. Ronald Helder, and Crew 1943. Aircraft was lost at Campina, Ploesti with both pilots and all crewmen, except two, KIA. Two crewmen survived the crash, WIA on "Operation Tidal Wave" 1 Aug 1943 - Pilot Lt. Lloyd "Pete" Hughes was awarded the Medal Of Honor for his determination to press on and bomb his target without regard to his life and safety. His copilot, Lt. Ronald Helder was awarded The Distinguished Service Cross. - All crewmen on 'Ole Kickapoo' were awarded The Distinguished Service Cross and The Distinguished Flying Cross for their bravery, skill, and sacrifice in participation with Operation Tidal Wave.
Pilot: 2Lt Lloyd H. Hughes, Jr. KIA : Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously
Co-Pilot: 2Lt Ronald L. Helder. KIA : Distinguished Service Cross posthumously
Navigator: 2Lt Sidney A. Pear. KIA : Died of wounds August 6, 1943, surgery hospital in Campina, Rumania : Distinguished Service Cross posthumously
Bombardier: 2Lt John A. McLoughlin. KIA : Escaped burning wreckage - Died of wounds on August 3, 1943, surgery hospital in Campina, Rumania : Distinguished Service Cross posthumously
Engineer/Top Turret Gunner: T/Sgt Joseph E. Mix. KIA : Distinguished Service Cross posthumously
Radio Operator: T/Sgt Louis N. Kase. KIA : Distinguished Service Cross posthumously
Waist Gunner: S/Sgt Malcolm C. Dalton. KIA : Distinguished Service Cross posthumously
Waist Gunner: S/Sgt Edmond H. Smith. WIA POW : Distinguished Service Cross
Tail Gunner: S/Sgt Thomas A. Hoff. WIA POW : Distinguished Service Cross
Tunnel Gunner: Sgt Avis K. Wilson. KIA : Distinguished Service Cross posthumously
Pilot: 2Lt Lloyd Herbert Hughes, Jr.
Co-Pilot: 2Lt Ronald Lee Helder
Navigator: 2Lt Sidney Allen Pear
Bombardier: 2Lt John A. McLoughlin
Engineer/Top Turret Gunner: T/Sgt Joseph Elzie Mix
Radio Operator: T/Sgt Louis Norman Kase/Kassowitz
Waist Gunner: S/Sgt Malcolm Clay Dalton
Waist Gunner: S/Sgt Edmond Howard Smith
Tail Gunner: S/Sgt Thomas Albert Hoff
Tunnel Gunner: Sgt Avis Kenneth Wilson
Operation Tidal Wave - Last Briefing. - 1943
The B-24D, named 'Hadley's Harem' was Lt. Gilbert Hadley's personal airplane and the one he flew on the mission to destroy Hitler's oil refineries at Ploesti Romania in 1943.
Aircraft Failed To Return - Ploesti oil refinery raid. Pilot 1st Lt. Gilbert B. Hadley. MACR 167.
Approaching the target, the aircraft was hit by a flak shell, causing a fatality and serious damage. The crew managed to drop their bombs and set course for home. Engine problems led to a decision to divert to Cyprus. Hadley initially joined a group of damaged stragglers leaving Ploesti led by their Group Leader, Col. John Kane in 'Hail Columbia and several other shot up B-24s from the 98th Bomb Group and 'Utah Man' from the 376th, but Hadley's aircraft couldn’t maintain flight and pilot Hadley had to leave the formation and ditched in the sea off the coast of Antalya in Turkey. All crewmembers, including Lt. Hadley, were KIA with the exception of two who escaped the sinking B-24 after ditching, were able to swim to shore. They were captured by the Turks, and survived the war.
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...
The B-24D, 'Hail Columbia', # 41-11825, originally served in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron. It was, first, the 344th Squadron's CO, Col. John R. Kane's, personal aircraft until Kane became the 98th Bomb Group's...
The B-24D Liberator 42-40629, 'The Scorpion', with the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bombardment Group, and the 565th Bomb Squadron, flew on the Ploesti oil refinery raid, "Operation Tidal Wave" piloted by Lt. Kenneth M. Caldwell and Col. Jack Wood...
The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942.
The 344th Bombing Squadron was first activated at MacDill Field, Florida as one of the original three squadrons assigned to the 98th Bombardment Group. The 344th soon moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana, where it began to train as a Consolidated B-24...
Military | First Lieutenant | B-24D Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
First Lieutenant Gilbert B. Hadley was a B-24D Liberator bomber pilot with the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, "The Pyramiders", from Texas, and the 344th Bombing Squadron, based at Cairo, Egypt, Tobruk, and Benghazi, Libya, in the Mediterranean...
Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24D Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
2nd Lt. Ronald Lee Helder was a B-24 pilot in the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bomb Group, and the 564th Bombing Squadron in WWII. He flew as Co-pilot with his friend, Command Pilot Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes, in the B-24D Lt. Helder called, 'Ole Kickapoo',...
Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24 Command Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
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...
Military | Colonel | Bombardier Navigator | 98th Bomb Group
Lt. Harold Korger was a bombardier in the 344th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. He flew on the famous mission, Operation Tidal Wave, Aug 1, 1943, to knock out the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. ...
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...
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...
Military | Major | Navigator / Nose Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
Norman Whalen joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. After graduating from Navigator School in Monroe, Louisiana, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 9th Air force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron...
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...
||1 August 1943
Failed To Return - Ploesti oil refinery raid. Pilot Gilbert B Hadley. MACR 167
Approaching the target, the A/C was hit by a shell, causing a fatality and serious damage. The crew managed to drop their bombs and then set course for home. Subsequent engine problems led to a decision to divert to Cyprus, but the aircraft couldn’t maintain flight and it ditched in the sea off the coast of Antalya in Turkey.
344th BS 98th BG 9th AF.