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Thomas G Baum

Military

Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40722,

Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-24 42-40738, "The Oklahoman." Killed in Action (KIA).

Service

People

  • Leonard Boisclair

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Flew Ploesti raid on 1 Aug 43 as the waist gunner on Jack Dieterle's plane, B-24 42-40722,"The Little Gramper" . One of its engines was hit by ground fire, and it barely made it back to the base at Benghazi, Libya.

  • Thomas Campbell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 389th Bomb Group
    Flew on famous Ploesti raid of 1 Aug '43. ...

  • Ernest Cox

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Flew as a tail gunner on the famous Ploesti raid of 1 Aug 43. The plane, B-24 42-40722 "The Little Gramper", barely made it back to its base at Benghazi, Libya, with one of its engines hit by ground fire.

  • Marcus DeCamp

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Survived the raid on Ploesti on B-24 42-40722,"The Little Gramper", for which he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. The plane barely made it back to the base in Benghazi with one engine damaged by ground fire.

  • Jack Dieterle

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    After completing his training as a bomber pilot at Biggs Field in Texas, his squadron, the 566ᵀᴴ BS of the 389ᵀᴴ BG, was established at Hethel Field in Norwich early in 1943. ...

  • Russell Hayes

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    He was the waist gunner on Jack Dieterle's ship, B-24 42-40722 "The Little Gramper", during the great raid on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania on Black Sunday, 1 August 1943. The plane returned with its crew intact but with some damage to one of...

  • Robert Hyde

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 389th Bomb Group
    He was the bombardier on B-24 42-40722,"The Little Gramper", on the attack on the Ploesti oil fields on Black Sunday, 1 August 1943.

  • Arthur Marsh

    Military | Lieutenant | Radio Operator | 389th Bomb Group
    Flew as the radio operator on the Ploesti raid of 1 August 1943. The plane sustained damaged to one of its engines and barely made it back to the base at Benghazi, Libya.

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Units served with

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 566th Bomb Squadron

    566th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Constituted 566th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Dec. 1942. Activated on 24 Dec. 1942. Inactivated on 13 Sept. 1945. Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air...

Aircraft

  • 42-40738 'The Oklahoman'

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 Liberator 42-40738 'The Oklahoman' 566th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF. ...

  • 42-40722 The Little Gramper

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 Liberator 42-40723 'The Little Gramper' 566th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Lt Jack W Dieterle, returning safely to Libya. Transferred to the 491st Bomb Group 15 May 44. Noted as War Weary repainted...

  • 42-40506 Fightin' Sam

    B-24 Liberator

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...

  • VIII Bomber Command 149

    5 December 1943
    This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 216 B-17 from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (10); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (21); 351BG (35); 379BG (21); 381BG (30); 384BG (20); and 301BG (20)...

Associated Place

  • Hethel

    Military site : airfield
    Construction of Hethel airfield began in 1941, and was finished in late 1942. The number of hardstandings was increased from the planned 36 to 50 in 1942, in order to accommodate a full heavy bomb group. The 320th Bomb Group occupied the base for ten...

  • Berca

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Born Phoenixville, Pennsylvania 9 November 1920

His family moved from Pleasantville to Cresson, PA, where he graduated from Cresson High School, where he was on the football team. He liked to hunt in the woods of Pennsylvania. After high school, he studied drafting in Pottsville. He enlisted right after Pearl Harbor and earned his wings by February, 1943. When he joined the 389th in Hethel, Jack Dieterle trained him in as his co-pilot. He flew as Dieterle's co-pilot on the famous Ploesti mission, 1 August 1943. When Dieterle was promoted after this mission, Thomas was assigned as Lt. Mason's co-pilot on "Fightin' Sam."

Missions (while attached to the IXᵀᴴ Bomber Command) 9 July 1943 – 16 July 1943

The following missions were flown by Thomas Baum as Jack Dieterle's co-pilot while their unit was on TDY to the IXᵀᴴ Bomber Command:

9 July 1943 — B-24's bomb airfields at Maleme, Crete, and Comiso and Taormina, Sicily. P-40's escort bombers over Castelvetrano, and Milo Airfields. This pre-invasion air bombardment of Sicily provides air superiority over the enemy. The 389ᵀᴴ was attached to the IXᵀᴴ Bomber Command.

11 July 1943 — B-24's hit airfields at Vibo Valentia, Sicily and Reggio di Calabria, Italy. P-40's escort bombers and provide beach cover as invasion forces push inland in Sicily. The 389ᵀᴴ was attached to the IXᵀᴴ Bomber Command.

12 July 1943 — In Italy, B-24's attack the harbor, ferry slip, and marshaling yard at Reggio di Calabria, and the ferry slip and railroad yards at Villa San Giovanni. The 389ᵀᴴ was attached to the IXᵀᴴ Bomber Command.

14 July 1943 — In Sicily, B-24's and Royal Air Force (RAF) heavy bombers hit railroad, marshaling yard, harbor, and oil storage facilities at Messina. Jack Dieterle recalled that they were trying interdict the German retreat from Sicily and that it was the heaviest AA bombardment that he had ever seen. His plane, the Little Gramper brought up the rear of the mission. They were attached to the IXᵀᴴ Bomber Command.

16 July 1943 — B-24's attack Bari Airfield, Italy; enemy fighters attack persistently and 3 B-24's are shot down; they claim 11 fighters destroyed in combat. The 389ᵀᴴ was attached to the IXᵀᴴ Bomber Command.

Killed in Action (KIA) St. Nazarene, France 5 December 1943

While flying the "Oklahoman" on a mission against German installations in Cognac, France on 5 December 1943, they suffered a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire at St. Nazarene. Only the pilot survived the resulting crash. In a letter home, dated 15 January 1944, Jack Dieterle recalled, "I lost one of my best friends a few days ago. He happened to be the boy (only 21) that I trained as my co-pilot and who flew with me on my first five raids as well as Ploesti. We were returning from a raid on a French air field in Southern France when the plane he was flying in received a direct hit, by a heavy anti-aircraft shell, and blew up. It spoiled an otherwise very successful raid. It's a dirty game!"

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 November 2019 12:28:02 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography and events
Sources

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 389th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2019 21:55:11 Dieterle Changes to place associations
Sources

Richard Dieterle.

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2019 12:17:56 Emily Changes to person associations
Sources

Removed circular connection to Thomas Baum

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 18:51:11 Dieterle Changes to person associations
Sources

Bomber Crewmen Who Flew on Tidal Wave (Lincoln: Nebraska Printing Center, 2002). http://fliphtml5.com/sxwk/nhsh/basic/

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 03:11:51 Dieterle Changes to events
Sources

Richard Dieterle, correcting a formatting error.

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 03:09:34 Dieterle Changes to events
Sources

A letter by Jack Dieterle to his aunts dated 15 January 1944, where he says that Thomas Baum flew as his co-pilot on his first 5 missions.

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 02:59:00 Dieterle Changes to events and mission associations
Sources

Chester County Hall of Heroes, https://www.chescoheroes.org/327/Baum-Thomas-G

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 02:30:14 Dieterle Changes to biography and aircraft associations
Sources

Chester County Hall of Heroes, https://www.chescoheroes.org/327/Baum-Thomas-G

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 02:23:48 Dieterle Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Chester County Hall of Heroes, https://www.chescoheroes.org/327/Baum-Thomas-G

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 02:15:53 Dieterle Changes to media associations
Sources

Chester County Hall of Heroes, https://www.chescoheroes.org/327/Baum-Thomas-G

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2019 02:14:49 Dieterle Changes to middlename, biography, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Chester County Hall of Heroes, https://www.chescoheroes.org/327/Baum-Thomas-G

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:50 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2351 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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