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> Tidal Wave Footage Photos, 15th AAF and Luftwaffe, 'Black Sunday', 1 August 1943
alexkdl
Posted: February 10, 2005 11:54 pm
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C-2 I fully agree hes's a great pilot and great personality , I heard of him when I was a child in Bucharest from my uncle, please ask him if he remembers Capitan Ionel Horescu (Medic) they met once many years ago ( he's my uncle) and tell him from me that I am ready anytime to be his wingman !!

Thanks
Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: February 11, 2005 10:54 am
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Alex--

I have checked the photos I uploaded a week ago on the ARR site and they appear to have come in okay. Please let me know if otherwise. I was the one who uploaded the Old Baldy take off and am glad it is something new. As noted on the ARR the previously uploaded photos of The Sandman, Stinger, and Fertile Myrtle along with Old Baldy and an unidentified plane were all taken on the morning of August 1, 1943 as the planes embarked on the Ploesti mission.

On a related subject, I am wondering if there are records (diary, day book) kept at the Monastery near the Old Baldy crash site that might relate to that event--since according to accounts posted to the ARR site, the priests were in charge of final rites for the gun crew and the air crew. To that end, I would like to send to the Monastery a note via normal mail requesting any information they may have. I realize that this might prove fruitless, but thought it might be worth the inquiry. If I draft a two or three sentence request, I am wondering if you might know of someone on the ARR site who would volunteer to translate it? Once translated, I would send it along. Let me know at your convenience.

Best regards,

Jim Buchanan
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alexkdl
Posted: February 11, 2005 10:58 am
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During 1943 and 1944 at least 6 Liberators landed in Portugal due to malfunctions or combat damage. & were used by the Arma de Aeronáutica as transport aircraft at least until 1946. As there are a lot of details still missing concerning their origin and exact identification we will present below what we know, hoping that some reader of these pages will be able to put some more light on this subject:
The 6 Liberators used by Arma de Aeronáutica received the serials L-1 to L-6.

From photos available, L-1 to L-4 were B-24D painted the usual olive drab above and grey below.

L-5 and L-6 seemed to be also B-24D, but anti-submarine versions with nose turret and Oklahoma depot modification (droop chin). A very good photo of this mod appears in the book “The B-24 Liberator by Allan Blue”, showing an aircraft of 479th Anti Submarine Group at St.Eval (UK) in 1943.

Some sources say that these last two came from either 479th or 480th Anti Submarine Groups based at St.Eval and Port Lyautey (French Morocco).

From research, the following aircraft have been confirmed as having landed in Portugal:

1 - B-24D-95 s/n 42-40772 Named “Scheherezade” from (389 BG/564 BS) on August 28, 1943.


2 - B-24J-165 s/n 44-40484 from 25 BG / 652 BS on a mission from Lajes (Azores) to UK on November 18, 1944.


3 - B-24D-100 s/n 42-40801 origin and arrival date unknown. Recorded for the first time in a Portuguese pilot logbook on March 17, 1944 as a test flight.

4 - Liberator GR.Mk.V s/n BZ730 RAF (ex- 42-40454) force landed in Lisbon after being shot up by a U-Boat on July 31,1942, (Aviation News of August 23, 1984 says summer of 1943). One engine was out of action and the ailerons were jammed. It seems the crew after landing put it to fire and succeeded in destroying the aircraft. Air- Britain records say the squadron was the 53rd, but state that the plane was later transferred to USAAF , which is at least strange, considering what is stated above. Was it really destroyed by the fire ?

Also it has been confirmed by investigation , that aircraft 41-23740 named “Red Ass” from 93 BG / 409 BS and 42-40133 from 93 BG / 328 BS , stated in the book “ Liberator The Global Bomber” as having landed in Portugal, did not in fact land here but in Spanish Morocco.

So only 4 planes are identified, but was burnt by its crew, and another is a B-24J, which does not fit with the photos available!!

To help somewhat we can give flight dates collected from pilots log-books.

L-1 : Flights in August, October and November 1944
L-3 : Flights in April, August and October 1944.
L-4 : Flight in August 1944.
L-5 : Flights in August , October and November 1944
Serial unknown: August 10, 1943
240801: Test flight on March 17, 1944.


Which were the aircraft, from which Squadrons, and when did they land in Portugal ?



2 - The same problem for the 18 Airacobras that formed the OK squadron and also landed in Lisbon by accident :
The same problem is posed by the group of Airacobras that landed in Lisbon. The facts known are:
Two groups of Airacobras landed in Portugal due to malfunctions or loss of fuel during ferry flights from U.K. to North Africa to participate in Operation Torch.

According to the book "AIRCAM/AIRWAR - USAAF Fighters MTO 1942-45" the first group of 5 (?) aircraft landed in Lisbon Airport in December 27, 1942 and the second group of 10 aircraft in January, 15 1943.

The book "The 350th Fighter Group in the Mediterranean Campaign 2/11/42 to 2/5/45" by Schiffer Publications - 1997, also mentions 62 Airacobra aircraft of the 350th leaving UK in the beginning of January to North Africa , but 10 force landed in Portugal and 1 in Spain, 2 being lost.

On the other end the book "The Mighty Eighth " by Roger Freeman - 1970, confirms that the 81st Fighter Group composed by 91st, 92nd and 93rd Fighter Squadrons, and equipped with P-39D and P-400, flew from U.K. from December 23, 1943 until January 2, 1943, and 10 aircraft landed in Portugal.

"Spitfires and Hurricanes in Portugal" by M.C.Lopes Lisbon - 1994, refers a total of 17 aircraft landed in Portugal, assuming that the missing aircraft would be the one landed in Spain and given to the Portuguese authorities by the neighbour country.

This last hypothesis does not seem correct as stated below.

To augment the confusion the magazine Scale Aircraft Modelling of January 1998 publishes a very interesting article on the Airacobra but writing that "...the Portuguese Air Force which flew 18 interned (later purchased) P-39 which force landed in March 1942 whilst en route from UK to Tunisia to reinforce the 91st and 92nd Squadrons of the 82nd Fighter Group."!!!
We think this last piece is not correct.

Still another bit to enlarge the problem : when talking in the seventies to the Commander of of the Airacobra squadron (Solano de Almeida), he said that more than 18 aircraft landed in Lisbon, but only 18 went to Ota, because some were lost during test flights still at Lisbon airport !

Another interesting piece of information was recently received through the Internet, from a Spanish friend and enthusiast (Javier Aranduy): the P-39 41-6921 landed in Spain in April 27, 1943, the P-400 BX339 in December 27,1942 (this must be the one mentioned above), and the P-400 BX219 in May 2, 1943, but none was sent to Portugal. All "died" in Spain never being used there.

Aviation News from August 23, 1984 publishes still other pieces taken from the Public Record Office in UK: an entry dated from March 18, 1943 says:"...The Portuguese want to buy 11 American Airacobras which landed there. This has the support of the American military authorities and a fair offer has been made". Another entry from April 26, 1943 says : "...Today we received authority to sell to Portugal, at $20,000 each 16 Airacobras and one Lightning which are intact, and to make a gift of four crates of aircraft, two of which are not badly damaged.The Americans declined to supply spares. The offer was conditional on release of interned US airman".

Which were the planes in the crates ?? Why they were put on crates??

The Airacobras, as stated above, formed the OK Squadron at Ota in mid 1943, and flew at least until 1945. Several were lost in accidents (one crash-landed in a beach, the engine of another seized immediately after take off, even managed to turn back but only to crash in the ensuing landing, and another taxied on two others, scrapping the group of three).The survivors were unfortunately all scrapped, and their remains could still be seen at Ota in 1950.

How many were really received, when, and of which type (if possible with the serial numbers)?




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alexkdl
Posted: February 11, 2005 11:00 am
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Just finished talking to Col Ed Weir, Bombardier on
TUPELO LASS. He told me that Tupelo Lass was not the
crew's first plane. It was a B-24D named, RED ASS.
Some months before the 93rd went to Libya, they had a
mission and were forced to land in Spain due to
mechanical trouble. Well, the plane was confiscated
there and they had to make their way back to England.
Chris (Gregg), do you have any info as to the serial
number of this plane? Col Weir said this should have
been the plane flown to Ploesti had the Spaniards not
stolen it. He also said he lost his wife four months
ago and is still having a hard time dealing with it.
Perhaps you can drop him a line at: colweir2@aol.com
I'm going to try and see if he wants to come down to
San Antonio in May for the 2nd Air Division Reunion.
He said he doesn't get out much so this might be good
for him. Earl, don't forget to bring your pills!!!
Thanks to Bill Kubota for putting me in contact with
Col Weir. Hope to see some of you here in May.

Best Wishes To All,
Joe Gonzales
San Antonio, Texas


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C-2
Posted: February 11, 2005 09:21 pm
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QUOTE (alexkdl @ Feb 10 2005, 11:54 PM)
C-2 I fully agree hes's a great pilot and great personality , I heard of him when I was a child in Bucharest from my uncle, please ask him if he remembers Capitan Ionel Horescu (Medic) they met once many years ago ( he's my uncle) and tell him from me that I am ready anytime to be his wingman !!

Thanks
Alex

Alex,I asked about your uncle,He doesn't remember this name.
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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 01:31 am
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Thanks anyway C-2

Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 02:09 am
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Alex,

Thanks, I too want to honor this crew. Believe me,
I've searched all over the U.S. and have come up empty
except for Canfield and Stampolis. It seems like the
rest of the crew didn't exist. I can't find any photos
for rest of them, but I'll keep trying. There has to
be some out there. I'm positive names have changed for
some of the relatives and I'm sure some have moved to
other places. I'll just have to keep looking.
Is it still cold and snowy in Switzerland? Are you
still flying cargo planes? Can you ride jump seat to
the U.S.? If so, come to San Antonio for the 2nd Air
Division Reunion in May.

JOE GONZALES
SAN ANTONIO TX
==========================

Dear Joe

Thanks for the email, and thanks for the photos sent I just received and I gonna post them soon .....

No at the moment is rather warm and spring like in Switzerland...Joe yes I still fly and I know SAT very well , I was last year at the Old San Fransico steak house, do you know where that is ? I had the greatest NY Sirl.steak in my life...I also woked down by the river with my wife , was just great ..I was there after completion of my PFC SIM at DFW so I tgought to jum to Brooks AFB ,thats why I was at SAT ...so I guess we have a deal regarding the Reunion...thanks for the invitation..I wana come over...let me know the dates and location through my email

Thanks
Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 02:30 am
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Fantastic photos not published yet anywhere nor seen yet anywhere after 62 years sent to me by Mr Joe Gonzales from San Antonio, TX. The photo was received personally by Mr Gonzales from Col.Compton of the 376th .

Bellow Col.Compton and Capt Apold on July 31,1943 at Benghazi

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 12, 2005 02:39 am

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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 02:32 am
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a fantastic photo of an unknown crewman next JOSE CARIOCA in 1943, thanks JOE !!!! Published now after 62 years

Alex

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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 02:37 am
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Photos taken from BOMERANG of Roy Martins plane as it approcahes COLUMBIA AQUILA .If we knew who was flying behind Martin , we know know the ID of the aircraft, also bellow BOMERANG turning right over Ploesti after bombing...first time after 62 years published photos, thanks to Joe

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 09:54 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 02:40 am
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An other photo taken from the BOMERANG supplied by Mr Joe Gonzales after 62 years !

Thanks Joe

Al

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 13, 2005 09:55 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 11:47 am
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Alex,

The reunion will be held on May 27-30, 2005. It will
be at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 123 Losoya Street in
downtown, San Antonio. We have two Hyatts in San
Antonio. Make sure it's the one along the riverwalk.
Let me know if you're coming so we have lunch/dinner
while you all are here. I know excellent places to
eat. You can find the hotel by going to the Hyatt
site. Make sure you bring pictures of your plane if
you come. I just posted two more pictures of crew of
TUPELO LASS when they flew RED ASS.

Regards,
Joe


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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 11:49 am
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REd ASS Nose Art from Joe Gonzales

Alex

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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 05:26 pm
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flight crew of thr 389th STINGER after flying with 98th and returning safely from August 1st 1943 Ploesti Bombing

Courtesy. Bob Sternfels MATERNITY WARD FINAL FLIGHT

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alexkdl
Posted: February 12, 2005 05:33 pm
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CHUG A LUG Pilot on a last photo prior TW

from Maternity Ward Final Flight

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 12, 2005 05:45 pm

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