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> Tidal Wave Footage Photos, 15th AAF and Luftwaffe, 'Black Sunday', 1 August 1943
jbuchanan
Posted: February 12, 2005 10:14 pm
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Chug A Lug 41-11766 98/345th (Second, and later, crew photo posted to this site--note bombing missions and compare with previous postings)

Morgan, Leroy B., Pilot, Returned Bengasi
Rich, Hosea W., Co-Pilot, Returned Bengasi
Larson, Victor H., Navigator, Returned Bengasi
Watkins, Chaplin J., Bombardier, Returned Bengasi
Van Ness, James, Engineer, KIA
Tipton, Robert L., Radio, Returned Bengasi
Cupp, Norman I., Gunner, Returned Bengasi
Hudley, Forrest D., Gunner, Returned Bengasi
Petrie, Norbert I., Tail, Returned Bengasi


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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 11:52 am
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Senor Al and Norm K

I'll go down the page and try to answer the questions...

I always wondered by the Germans didnt use our IFF on some of their planes whengoing in at nite to the UK...they surely had a bunch of them from all of our planes that crashed etc.... The only time I heard we didnt use the IFF, dont know if true, is during the Hamm raid when they came back after dark, they were ordered to turn off their IFFs. Many German planes followed ours back and shot up over UK..

To use the RDF or radio compass, there had to be stations on the air all the time transmitting so you could tune in. We practised tuning in on three stations
to get an exact fix, a triangulation type job... in the ZI of course. I was never
briefed while in Bengasi that there were any stations on the air that we could use to get a fix.

Everygroup had their own call signs and frequencies. The freqs were changed for
every mission and the ROs had to tune up while on the ground prior to take off. Of
course the Krauts knew we were coming but not when or where. On most frequencies we had to interpolate the freq as the readings on a chart didnt match up. It took some time to peak your transmitter etc.... The RO normally had to guard
the freq on his liaison xmtr for the recall.. The pilot would switch back and forth from the Command to the intercom... on my crew the pilot was the only one to use
the Command radio. If I recall, the gunners junction boxes could not tune into the Command radio....

The Blinker refers to the Aldis Lamp. I only used the aldis one time, when leaving
Red Target we flew right wing off of Capt Mooney's plane, he was dead and there
were three of four others wounded including the RO. The bombardier, Rockly
Triantufella, used the aldis from the waist window to commuicate with us. We followed him into Izmir, the co-pilot landed, wheels up, in a wheat field. Their Command radio must have been kaput as they didnt answer our call. The only other alternative was sign language or the aldis........Ü

I would imagine that Col Compton was on the intercom with the navigator trying to find out which way do I go... his command pilot should have been on the Command.

After the target has been hit the lead RO sends the strike report and from then on
its Katy bar the door. If you got problems and think you might ditch in the Med, its time to notify the Rescue Service.. ot let your group ground station know your location. Thats when you ask for a QDM, or bearing. That bearing would be from your groups station to your plane...you take the reciprocal heading. You ask for a
QDM then hold down on your key for at least a minute so they can tune you in.

On my crew the engineer had a gun and I was on the flight deck at all times. I generally stood between the pilots, tuned into our group freq, and only had to keep an eye on the oxygen bottle of the top turrett gunner so he would not run out... When flying formation the pilot didnt have time to switch around on the junction box unless necessary. Our tower freq was never changed so the Command radio didnt have to be tuned up unless we changed bases etc....

Methinks it was tough in the UK to have so many freqs when you put 1000 planes in the air. Thats not counting the RAF and others.

As for tuning your Xmtr just before the target, if you abort for any reason and need the L xmtr, no time to fiddle around tuning up... get it done on the ground before take off..... Hey the Germans know we're on the way in any case.

As for tuning up in 15 seconds, using the zero beat method, really works although it do take a litlle time to peak the xmtr. You tune your mxtr to your receiver which is tuned to your base freq.

Hope that helps Al.

Earl
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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 11:54 am
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Jim

Many thanks for posting the CHUG A LUG crews photos.....can you try to identify on my previous CHUG A LUG posting who's the crew depicted near the nose?


Best Regards
Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 11:57 am
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Thanks Steve, thats why I asked it doesnt look like the desert ones....maybe used on later on bombings but is definetly near Ploesti...is from LAST FLIGHT OF MATERNITY WARD forwarded by Major Bob Sternfels pilot of the SANDMAN

Alex

Bob , if you read this maybe you let us know when the photo was taken at Ploesti?
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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 01:40 pm
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B-24 MATERNITY WARD 42-40663-P 98th Bmb Grp
==================================
P Lt John v.Ward POW
CPL F/O Andrew L.Anderson POW
N Lt Beverly S.Huntley KIA BEV HUNTLEY HOMEPAGE
B 2Lt Henry C.Crump KIA
TT Sgt James J Tooth KIA
R Leon D.Pemberton KIA
TG Robert E Long KIA
G Kenneth L Turner KIA
G Harlod W. Scott KIA
G. William J.Fay KIA


MATERNITY WARD GOES DOWN
======================

An incredible heroic survival story of the two Tidal Wave pilots of the MATERNITY WARD...something it can be compared with the motion picture CAST AWAY with Tom Hank but just some 62 years ago ......and this is their story :

----- 1 ------


The lead ship of the nine-plane formation ahead radioed that they would slow down
To let the two stragglers catch up. Everything seemed to be going smoothly.

Then the German fighters over the Ionian Sea appeared. Usually the fighters turned back
When they reached coastal line to avoid over water pursuits., but this time they gave full pursuit. Six FW-190s and two ME-109G came right for the two planes,but it wasn’t enough .

Their companion aircraft CORNHUSKER went down with two smoking engines and hit the water hard. MATERNITY WARD crew were left alone.

The Germans pursued MATERNITY WARD relentlessly. Coming up from the rear,they shot
Out the tail turret, and wounding S/Sgt Long. As he screamed for help ,cannon and machine gun fire came in from the back of the plane and went clear through the front.

The tail was destroyed and the elevator control cables were severed, and the there was fire on the bomb bay extra gas tank the Ploesti raiders had it fit in. Sgt Pemberton was also wounded,but even so he wanted to make his way through the fire and help in the rear of the aircraft. The hydraulic system was gone,along with the communication system. The plane quickly went out of control and into a steep dive.

Lt Ward eased back on the throttles and tried to lower the flaps to slow the plane dive.The flaps were stuck, and cut of the engine power resulted only in the increase of the diving angle. Flight Officer Anderson ( see previous post with his photo) who had taken some shrapnel , left the cockpit to try to fight the fire in the bomb bay as the plane swiftly lost altitude. Nothing was heard from the other crew members.

As a last ditch effort , Lt Ward added power .The fire in the bomb baby was spreading
Quickly. Anticipating an explosion before the plane hit the water , he tried to bring the plane under control. The bell alarm was given to abandon the bomber , but there was no way of knowing if the whether the men in the back of the aircraft heard it. The flight home of the MATERNITY WARD was over.

After significantly levelling the plane ,Lt Ward left the cockpit and discovered that Sgt Pembertons parachute had been shattered by cannon fire. Neither Pemberton nor Sgt Long
Whom were both wounded could get out safely. It was Lt Ward and F/O Anderson to stay on board and try to ease the crash by keeping the wings level and fight the fire. It was believed that Sgt Turner had already gone out through the burning bomb bays.

MATERNITY WARD came down the final 3000 feet at 240 mph descending at 500-600 ft per minute . Since the steep dive was flattened , the rest of the crew had time to get out if they were able to prepare themselves for the crash. Lt Ward returned to the pilots seat , neglecting to fasten his seat belt . Sgt Pemberton opened the top hatch and braced himself against the armour plate behind Lt Ward seat , and Lt Anderson pulled the life raft release than braced himself against the other armour plate. The last thing Lt Ward saw was the water rushing up to meet them.

CONT...............

(check Navigator Lt Beverly Huntley Homepage link)

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 11:49 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 01:42 pm
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MATERNITY WARD GOES DOWN
======================

---- 2 ------


After the plane hit the water the nose broke away from fuselage and Ward was thrown clear.The waist and the bomb bay burst into flames and MATERNITY WARD began to sink tail first, nose up. Both Ward and Anderson briefly lost consciousness, then came to underwater and swam to the surface . Ward emerged about 50 feet away from the one of the plane’s wings, which has also broken off from the fuselage and was floating,trailing edge up. In a short time the entire wreckage sunk. When Lt Anderson regained consciousness he was still in the pilot compartment that was rapidly sinking. He felt around for Pemberton but he was trapped by the top turret which has broken loose . There was no way Anderson could free him.

To save himself he went up through the hatch opening while choking and swallowing water. Surfacing on the middle of burning gasoline , he dove and swam under water until he came free of flames.

Lt Ward was swimming around furiously , looking for any other sign of life when miraculously Anderson came to the surface about 15 meters away. Ward yelled at him and within a few minutes they were swimming side by side. They grabbed on some floating oxygen tanks and hung on until about 5 minutes later a life raft came up and they were able to climb aboard. Anderson told Ward about Pemberton who was trapped in the wreckage. This brave man who has struggled in spite of the wounds has drowned now.

Ward and Anderson badly shaken tried to asses their situation knowing that they were somewhere between Italy and Greece. Anderson who had swallowed sea water and inhaled noxious fumes from the burning fuel , vomited again and again.

Apart from the sounds made by the two men the ,the sea was deadly quite as the afternoon faded into the evening. . They made one last effort to locate the other men , no one answered. Finally exhausted , they greeted the night sitting in three inches of water and shivering. It was next impossible to get any sleep as the night grew colder and their clothing consisted of underwear,socks, khaki shorts and short sleeved shirts.

As the morning light broke and the sun appeared, the tow weary men looked over their survival kits that had surfaced with the little life raft. The water cans were broken open and the D bars were badly soaked. The flares and matches were wet. They had little food and no water and no way to rig a sail. They knew that their fate was to drift with the current. For the next two days they sat in their life raft waiting for something to happen. At night the laid in the bottom of the raft wrapped around eachother for body warmth. Than on the 3rd night rescue came so close that it seemed like a dream. A beautiful lit ship came right for them but turned away as they struggled to fire their rescue flares.

As finally they fired the 3rd flare and lit up the raft , voices of men running on the deck were heard .Ward and Andersen yelled as loud as possible but the noise of the ships engines drowned them out. As they watched the ships lights fade out of sight ,their hearts sank. They watched and waiting in case someone would came back and but none came.

After 5 more days and night of searing heat and bitter cold, the two mean dreamt of food and drink. As one miserable day drifted into an other , the two men thought often of just jumping overboard and ending it all. Their mouths were dry and cracked . Their hands ,feet,lips and tongue were swollen and painful and their wounds festered and broke. These brave men cried as they prayed for someone to find them , but their prayers appeared to be in vain.

Finally on day 12, two British Beaufighters spotted them and signalled that they would send a rescue team . Both airmen collapsed on bottom of the raft of joy. All night they stayed awake waiting for a boat, a plane anything. As down broke on the 13th day the saw a powerboat going fast through the water. Frantically they waved and yelled ,they threw their shirts and pants up the air but the boat crew never saw them and sped away . Incredible, a second near rescue faded away and now the total despair.

The rest of the day starving and dehydrated John Ward and Andrew Andreson stared at the blurry horizon as if in a trance , weak and close to delirium. Then when the mist lifted for a few minutes, they thought like hallucinating for something that looked like land appeared then faded away. With great efforts they took the oars and started rowing. The rowed day and night toward the apparition. On August 16, after at full 15 days at sea, they came within 300 yards of a small island,so they decided to make it there.The water was there only waist deep , but they had great difficulty staying on their feet. In a last desperate effort they crawled on their hands and knees until they fell exhausted on the beach. The pilot and co pilot of MATERNITY WARD had finally made a safe landing.

As they laid on the beach they heard and unbelievable sound : singing ! Their rose to their knees in disbelief as a boatload of Italian soldiers landed,came over and picked them up, then gently laid them in their boat. After rowing to the nearest sheltered harbour, they carried Andreson and Ward to a building near an old castle and gave them food and water . The two men were put in beds and a doctor came to tend their wounds.The island where they landed was the Greek Kithera occupied by the Itlalian Army and contained a German garrison. The Italian soldiers allowed people from nearby village to visit the 2 prisoners which helped Ward and Anderson recover.

But it was far than over yet for them ………….

TO BE CONTINUED

From Final Flight of MW by M.M.Aronowitz

BELLOW: Bill Fay the Gunner of MW ( KIA at sea) seen at Cairo in Feb 1943

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 04:04 pm

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Bernard Miclescu
Posted: February 13, 2005 03:14 pm
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Hello to the new members!!!

here is a nice painting (french this time) about the Tidal Wave events.

yours,
Bm

(IMG:http://img161.exs.cx/img161/7185/desentidalwave4oc.th.jpg)


This post has been edited by Bernard Miclescu on February 13, 2005 03:23 pm
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Bernard Miclescu
Posted: February 13, 2005 03:30 pm
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Hello Alex,

Even if my question is off topic i would like to ask you if you know something about the crews / airplanes that were lost over Ploesti on 28 july 1944. On this site i posted some months ago a picture of an icon found in an american airplane wreck at that date.

In case you have some information please don't forget me.

Bm
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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 04:15 pm
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Hello Bernard, thanks for posting the image, as you know I deal with many issues related to TW , as well several other topics on here, plus , plus...it's virtually impossible for me to remember every specific issue other than my topics on here...please post again your question with full details under the topic BOMBING of PLOESTI and BEYOND along with the photo you mentioned , than I will be pleased to start dealing with

Thanks
Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 09:53 pm
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Alex,
If you are referring to three pictures, one over the town of Ploesti,
and the other two over cornfields, these pictures came from "Bomerang", 93rd BG, 328th BS flown by Roy Martin and Luther Bird. My uncle was the bombardier on this B-24. It is a common mistake to put TWO "O,s" in the name which confuses the other BOOMERANG, that flew on the Low Level mission. I sent these pics to Joe.

You might want to make this change on the TW site so as not to confuse people.
"Bomerang" became the first Eighth Air Force B-24 to complete 50 missions, and after 53 was flown back to the states by Walter Stewart and other 93rd 'ers on April 4, 1944, who completed their mission requirements, many of whom flew the Ploesti mission, including Walter Stewart who flew "Utah Man". Walt Stewart is the only one still living, a good friend of mine, residing in Utah.
Since I am unable to access the pictures that come up on the TW site, I am assuming these three pics are the ones I sent to Joe. I havn't been able to figure out how to down pictures from the TW site, rather frustrating. I have some pictures taken of "Bomerang", at a going away party at the 93ed base in Hardwick, that I think I can email to you if you are interested.

Regards,
Kent Jaquith
"Bomerang" historian.
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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 10:46 pm
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To all my US TW mates, my 44th and 376th as well 98th friends and any TW historians ...I've got these footages from AIR POWER of Walter Kronkite....the photos are from footages shot just over or outbound Ploesti during the raid...please help me to identify both aircraft commanders and the aircrafts

Thanks
Al

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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 10:47 pm
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Who is this aircraft commander over Ploesti at Aug 1,1943 checking his 12 o'clock high for ME-109's ?

Al

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 10:48 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 10:49 pm
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Can anyone identify this pilot too ? It isn't Nicholas Cage for sure !

Thanks
Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 10:50 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 10:52 pm
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Whose aircraft is this ? From what other aircrafts except the BOMERANG and TUPELOLAS footages and photos were safely brought back to Benghazi ?

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 11:21 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: February 13, 2005 10:53 pm
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same aircraft as on previous post but rather closer .

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 10:53 pm

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