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345th Bomb Squadron

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 crossing from Brazil to Liberia, then transited east across central Africa to Sudan. Lastly the group reformed with the ground echelon which traveled by ship around the Cape of Good Hope, joining with air echelon in British Palestine.

Assigned to the newly formed IX Bomber Command, the squadron operated from airfields in Egypt; Libya and Tunisia supporting the British Eighth Army in the Western Desert Campaign. Also staged long-range strategic bombardment of enemy military and industrial targets in Sicily; Italy and the Southern Balkans, including attacking the Nazi-controlled oilfields at Ploiești, Romania.

Reassigned to Fifteenth Air Force in southern Italy; continuing strategic bombardment raids on Occupied France; Southern Germany; Austria and targets in the Balkans. In the summer of 1944, the squadron participated in the invasion of southern France, assisted in the Soviet advance into the Balkans, and supported the partisans and guerrillas in Yugoslavia and neighboring countries.

The squadron returned to the United States in May 1945; being redesignated as a B-29 Superfortress heavy bomb squadron and began training for deployment to the Central Pacific Area and conduct strategic bombardment raids over the Japanese Home Islands. Training continued until the unit was inactivated at the end of July, its equipment and personnel being merged into the other three squadrons of its host group.

Structure

Part of
  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

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

Encompassing
Not yet known
Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Connections

People

  • Prentice Boston

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. John Childers crew. Completed tour. Returned to USA with B-24 'Chug A Lug' for war bonds tour. Awards: AM, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Buchanan

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. John Dore crew. Missed the Ploesti oil refinery due to dysentery. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Childers

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Completed tour. Returned to USA with B-24 'Chug A Lug' for war bonds tour. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Dore

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Pilot on B-24 42-40102 'Old Baldy' Lost near the target, Ploesti, AA hit point blank at 30 feet or less from a Rumanian 80 mm. Pilot 1st Lt John J Dore. 10 KIA. MACR 223. Awards: SS, DFC, AM (5OLC), PH.

  • Russell Elkin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight engineer / Top turret | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. John Childers crew. Completed tour. Returned to USA with B-24 'Chug A Lug' for war bonds tour. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Joseph Finneran

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Bombardier on B-24 42-40102 'Old Baldy' Lost near the target, Ploesti, AA hit point blank at 30 feet or less from a Romanian 80 mm. Pilot 1st Lt John J Dore. 10 KIA. MACR 223. ...

  • Worthington Franks

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Navigator on B-24 42-40102 'Old Baldy' Lost near the target, Ploesti, AA hit point blank at 30 feet or less from a Rumanian 80 mm. Pilot 1st Lt John J Dore. 10 KIA. MACR 223. Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (5OLC), PH.

  • Ray Gleason

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Crew member B-24 42-40102 'Old Baldy' Lost near the target, Ploesti, AA hit point blank at 30 feet or less from a Rumanian 80 mm. Pilot 1st Lt John J Dore. 10 KIA. MACR 223. Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (OLC), PH.

  • Charles Hill

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Completed tour. Returned to USA with B-24 'Chug A Lug' for war bonds tour. Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post war: Served in Korean conflict.

  • Joseph Iosco

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Crew member of B-24 42-40102 Lost near the target, Ploesti, AA hit point blank at 30 feet or less from a Rumanian 80 mm. Pilot 1st Lt John J Dore. 10 KIA. MACR 223 Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (4OLC), PH.

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Aircraft

  • 42-40402 The Sandman

    B-24 Liberator
    Crew of "The Sandman" on the Ploesti raid: ...

  • 42-40102 'Old Baldy'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 345BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) with John Dore crew Ploesti; Lost near the target, AA hit point blank at 30 feet or less from a Romanian 80 mm. 10 x Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 223.

  • 41-23795 'Miss Julie' 'Sneezy'

    B-24 Liberator
    Equipped with radar and was used in a sea search role early in its career and may have been operated by other than the 343rd BS. ...

  • 41-11766 Chug A Lug

    B-24 Liberator
    Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Leroy B Morgan, returning to Libya, 1 KIA [T/Sgt James VanNess, NJ] and 2 WIA (2nd Lt Victor Larson - Navigator, and T/Sgt Robert L. Tipton - Engineer).

Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 November 2016 02:50:45 466thHistorian Created entry with type, category, name, description, air forces, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations, aircraft associations and media associations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/345th_Bomb_Squadron

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