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B-24 Liberator

On 14 June 1944, the 34th Bomb Group flew a mission to bomb Cambrai-Epinoy airfield in France, in support of Allied ground troops in Normandy. “Mean Kid”, a brand new B-24 on its fifth mission, was severely damaged by enemy fire over Antwerp. Unable to make it home to Mendlesham in Suffolk and with only one landing wheel down, the pilot Lieutenant Sam Laskin crash landed the aircraft at Manston, Kent.
Laskin was badly wounded, but his crew remained unscathed and as a result Laskin received the Silver Star for valour. The aircraft suffered a broken wing and crumpled engine and had to be scrapped, too badly damaged from flak fire and a crash landing to fly again.



  • 34th Bomb Group

    34th Bomb Group

    After forming part of the American defence force, first on America's east coast and then on its west, the Group was assigned to the Eighth Air Force in April 1944 and entered combat in May 1944. The Group helped with the preparation for the Normandy...

  • 18th Bomb Squadron


  • Sam Laskin

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 34th Bomb Group


  • Manston

    Military site : airfield
    Built for Royal Naval Air Service use in the First World War, it was both an RAF and Fleet Air Arm base from 1918-50, and after the war a USAF Strategic Air Command base from 1950-51, a United States Air Forces Europe base from 1950-58, an RAF station...

  • Mendlesham

    Military site : airfield
    Built in 1942-1943, Mendlesham's first flying unit was the RAF's No. 310 Squadron - a Czechoslovakian unit. The airfield then became home to the USAAF 34th Bomb Group. This unit flew missions from Mendlesham in B-24s and B-17s.


Event Location Date
Crashed Manston airfield 14 June 1944


Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 10:18:17 Emily Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations, place associations and media associations

Aircraft details:
Colonel Bob Simpson, 34 BG Mission summary: