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George L Van Son


Assigned to 67BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. TDY to 9th AF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti in B-24 'G. I. Gal' 42-40371 1-Aug-43; Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 2412

Awards: DFC, AM, POW, WWII Victory, EAME, Korean and UN medals.


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 67th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-40371 'GI Gal'

    B-24 Liberator
    Departed target Ploesti, with part of a wing shot off, A/C emerged into a crisscrossing of ships, was unable to catch up with any of the improvised formations ahead and so was a tempting target. Me 109s pounced and shot away most of the tail turret,...


  • 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...

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

  • Benina

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Born Amsterdam, Netherlands 25 August 1920

Son of Theodore and Maria Van Son.

Lived in Wayne County, MI, USA August 1942
Enlisted Detroit, MI, USA 31 August 1942

Detroit, Michigan

Based Benina 1943 – 1 August 1943

Assigned to 67BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF.

Baled out POW Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti in B-24 'G. I. Gal' 42-40371 1-Aug-43; Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 2412

Prisoner of War (POW) Bucharest, Romania 1 August 1943 – September 1944

Prisoner of War (POW), Bucharest, Romania

Discharged USAAF 25 August 1945

Honourable discharge.

Died Saint Petersburg, FL 2 December 1995
Buried Arlington National Cemetery 5 December 1995

Arlington National Cemetery
Columbarium 2 JJ-11-1


Date Contributor Update
27 January 2021 11:36:10 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events and place associations

Date Contributor Update
21 April 2020 09:56:51 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography and events

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 44th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
17 April 2020 04:23:46 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2018 11:34:04 Lucy May Changes to surname, middlename, firstname and events

Name recorded as George NMI Van Son in Missing Air Crew Report:

NARA Enlistment record:

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2015 20:12:57 Al_Skiff Changes to events, unit associations and mission associations

AAM Database.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:14 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2412