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41-24311

B-24 Liberator

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.

Service

Aircraft

  • 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...

  • 41-11825 'Hail Columbia' 'Grumpy' 'Little Chief Big Dog'

    B-24 Liberator
    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...

  • 42-40629 'The Scorpion'

    B-24 Liberator
    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...

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Units

  • 9th Air Force
  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

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

  • 344th Bomb Squadron

    344th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    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...

People

  • Gilbert Hadley

    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...

  • Ronald Helder

    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',...

  • Lloyd Hughes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24 Command Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    ...

  • 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...

  • Harold Korger

    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. ...

  • 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...

  • Norman Whalen

    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...

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...

Places

  • Mellaha

    Military site : airfield

  • Berca

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Crashed Antalya, Turkey 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.

Assigned

344th BS 98th BG 9th AF.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 July 2020 21:10:18 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

FindAGrave Memorial ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- The Return Of Hadley's Harem - Michael Schultz ---- John S. Young. Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
06 July 2020 21:07:52 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

FindAGrave Memorial ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- The Return Of Hadley's Harem - Michael Schultz ---- John S. Young. Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
11 August 2019 22:57:23 Kickapoo Changes to aircraft associations, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

FindAGrave Memorial ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- The Return Of Hadley's Harem - Michael Schultz ---- John S.Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
11 August 2019 22:52:03 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

FindAGrave Memorial ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- The Return Of Hadley's Harem - Michael Schultz ---- John S.Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
11 August 2019 22:44:03 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

FindAGrave Memorial ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- The Return Of Hadley's Harem - Michael Schultz ---- John S.Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
11 August 2019 22:31:09 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

FindAGrave Memorial Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- The Return Of Hadley's Harem - Michael Schultz ---- John S.Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
11 August 2019 22:27:23 Kickapoo Changes to markings, description, events, aircraft associations and person associations
Sources

FindAGrave Memorial Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- The Return Of Hadley's Harem - Michael Schultz ---- John S.Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:05:42 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, description, events, unit associations and mission associations
Sources

AAM Database.

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