Charlotte member Jeff H. Steinert, 96, passed away on January 28, 2018 at his residence at Plantation Estates in Matthews, NC. During World War II he served in England with the 8th Air Force, USAAF as a Navigator with the 389th Bomb Group, 567th Bomb Squadron. He was awarded the Air Medal four times and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
In August 1944, General George S. Patton, 3rd Army, was crossing through France, and outdistancing his supplies. The 389th Bomb Group was called on to fly new supplies of gasoline to General Patton. Jeff's B-24 had aviation fuel in the main tanks, but the Tokyo tanks in the bomb bay, belly tanks in the aft bomb bay and the P-38 wing tanks in the waist contained gasoline for ground vehicles.
The B-24s were so heavy they sat on their tail skids with the nose wheel off the ground. As they rolled down the runway, bright sparks flew up from the tail skids and gave the appearance of someone trying to torch the planes. The B-24s lurched forward and took off barely clearing the first poles that make up the runway path. After an uneventful flight across the English Channel, they arrived at a captured German Airfield near Chartres, France. U. S. Army Red ball express truck tankers were loaded with fuel taken from the B-24s and General Patton got the gasoline he needed for his tanks.
Units served with
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...
567th Bombardment Squadron, 24 December 1942 - 13 September 1945
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...
||Jackson Heights, New York
||Nashville, TN, USA
||7 March 1943
Nashville AC Facilities
||Matthews, NC, USA
||28 January 2018