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> Tidal Wave Footage Photos, 15th AAF and Luftwaffe, 'Black Sunday', 1 August 1943
Cantacuzino
Posted: February 21, 2005 08:33 am
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Alex, here is a controversal issue to be solved by your TW friends.
In romanian archiv the serial number and some crew members are different from Hill's book regarding Houston plane. Who is wrong ?
The data was given to romanian by germans who were credited Steinmann for shooting down Houston B-24.

Dan.

This post has been edited by Cantacuzino on February 21, 2005 08:37 am

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Cantacuzino
Posted: February 21, 2005 08:36 am
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Below Houston B-24 crew from Hill book.


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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 10:31 am
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Dan

Can you email me the photos of the BW and POW listingf without copy rights seal

Thanks
Alex
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Cantacuzino
Posted: February 21, 2005 10:44 am
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QUOTE
Dan

Can you email me the photos of the BW and POW listingf without copy rights seal

Thanks
Alex


Only the BW picture had the copyright seal ( owner request). I will ask him if he allowed me to sent you one copy without seal.

Dan.
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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 10:49 am
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Yes Dan thats what I meant.....the rest you can email me as they are....the ARR B-24 is a great painting along with the IAR-81 ..please email me in a higher MB size and resolution, thanks in advance


Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 10:52 am
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Dan

M.Hill had various other errors on his book , such as the entire crew of MATERNITY WARD was KIA, when in fact the PIC and CPL survived and finished the war in German STALAG until their liberation . They may still be alive in the US.

Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 03:32 pm
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Joe,Pat , Pat, Bob,Chris,Earl ,Jim and all my us TW mates

I am uploading beneath a few TW profiles ...my mate at this forum Dan Melinte saw them ...he's about to complete the JOSE CARIOCA profile

Bellow the CORNHUSKER

from Battaile Intl

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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 03:34 pm
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Bellow the SUZY Q of Gen.Leon Johnson may god bless him

Alex

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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 03:35 pm
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Bellow : HAIL COLUMBIA, COL "KILLER" Kane

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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 03:37 pm
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bellow : THE BOMERANG

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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 03:41 pm
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And finally bellow our artist Mr Dan Melinte favourite one the BREWERY WAGON of Capt. John Plam( Dan will build soon this model) , the 15th AF POW's delegate in Rumania, Queen and King of Rumania friends and a great pilot and hero, may he rest in peace...god bless him !

Alex

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Dénes
Posted: February 21, 2005 04:54 pm
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QUOTE (alexkdl @ Feb 21 2005, 09:32 PM)
I am uploading beneath a few TW profiles ... from Battaile Intl

The proper source is actually the special issue of 'Batailles Aériennes' series dedicated to the Tidal Wave Operation, published by 'Avions' in France.

Gen. Dénes
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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 05:08 pm
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Yes Denes, thats the source

Alex
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oldbludgeon
Posted: February 21, 2005 08:59 pm
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[edited by adimin]

from: http://www.afa.org/magazine/valor/0988valor.asp

@Air Force Association

Into the Mouth of Hell

by John L. Frisbee, Contributing Editor to the Air Force Magazine

Losses on the first large-scale Ploesti raid were staggering, heroism unsurpassed.

Tradition rests on a foundation of great deeds done together in the past. A keystone of Air Force tradition is the Aug. 1, 1943, bombing attack on oil refineries at Ploesti, about 30 miles north of Bucharest, Romania. That mission stands as a monument not only to the skill and courage of Air Force crews but also to the ability of our combat leaders to pull together strands of a broken plan and salvage limited success from the apparent certainty of disaster.

The Ploesti raid was unique in several respects. It was the first large-scale, low-level strike by heavy bombers against a well-defended target and the longest--1,350 miles from base to bombs-away--of World War II up to that time. For extraordinary heroism that day, five men were awarded the Medal of Honor, a record that may hold for all time.

(IMG:http://images6.fotki.com/v77/photos/1/133612/940982/1Ploesti-vi.jpg)

Why did Ploesti merit that unprecedented effort? In mid-1943, seven refineries in and near the city were producing an estimated 35 percent of Germany's oil and an equal proportion of her aviation gasoline. Some Allied planners thought that destruction of the refineries might even force the Nazis out of the war.

The task force put together for Ploesti was composed of two Ninth Air Force B-24 groups--the 376th and 98th--based in North Africa and three B-24 groups from Eighth Air Force--the 93d, 44th, and the recently arrived 389th--that were moved from their UK bases to fields in North Africa near Benghazi, Libya. The attack was set for Sunday, Aug. 1, in order to minimize casualties among impressed workers at the refineries. It was meticulously planned and thoroughly rehearsed, including two full-scale practice missions against a simulation of the Ploesti targets, laid out in a remote area of the desert.


Surprise and Precision


In concept, if not in execution, the plan of attack was simple, its essence: surprise and precision. The bomber stream would be led by the 376th Group under Col. Keith K. Compton, followed by the 93d, 98th, 44th, and 389th in that order. Specific buildings within the five refineries in Ploesti; the refinery at Campina, 18 miles northwest of the city; and one at Brazi, five miles to the south, were assigned to elements of the five groups.

(IMG:http://images6.fotki.com/v76/photos/1/133612/940982/XB24s_ploesti-vi.jpg)

The task force, totaling 177 B-24s with Brig. Gen. Uzal Ent as mission commander flying in Compton's aircraft, would take off between 4 and 5 a.m., fly north in a tight column of groups to Corfu (off the coast of Greece), then climb over the mountains of Albania and Yugoslavia to the Danubian plain, where they would descend below enemy radar coverage. At Pitesti, the first Initial Point (IP), the 389th would break off to the left and proceed to the refinery at Campina.

The four leading groups would drop to 500 feet and continue to the final IP at Floresti, where they would begin a 13-mile bomb run on five refineries in the city and the one at Brazi, descending to treetop level for bomb release. All six refineries would be hit almost simultaneously by a single wave of bombers, flying line-abreast, that would saturate the defenses. That was the plan. Winston Churchill is credited with observing that "in war, nothing ever goes according to plan except occasionally, and then by accident." Ploesti was no exception.

(IMG:http://images6.fotki.com/v76/photos/1/133612/940982/fribergploestimap1-vi.jpg)

In the long flight over the Mediterranean, the column lost some of its cohesion, with the 376th and 93d Groups slightly ahead of the other three. Then, near Corfu, the lead aircraft with the route navigator went out of control and crashed. (Ent and Compton were not in the lead bomber, but in a position to assume the lead when a final turn to the bomb run was made.) A second 376th aircraft bearing the deputy route navigator followed down to look for survivors. Unable to climb back in time to rejoin the group, it returned to Benghazi.

Now ahead of the formation towering cumulus clouds rose above the mountains. The two lead groups threaded their way through or under the clouds, while the 98th, 44th, and 389th penetrated the cloud line at varying altitudes. By the time those three had reformed a column and resumed a heading for Pitesti, the first two groups were 29 minutes ahead of them.

Because of radio silence, Ent and Compton could not contact the trailing groups. Not knowing whether or not those groups had turned back, they decided to follow the operations order even though they might have to go it alone. Thus, the five groups actually proceeded toward Pitesti as two widely separated forces. A surprise attack on the refineries in Ploesti by a single wave of some 140 bombers, that dominant key to success at an acceptable cost, was beyond redemption.


The Wrong Turn

(IMG:http://images6.fotki.com/v76/photos/1/133612/940982/XB24_ploesti2-vi.jpg)

The chain of circumstance was not yet complete. The 376th and 93d Groups made their turn at Pitesti and headed for the final IP at Floresti. Halfway between the two IPs lay the town of Targoviste, which closely resembled Floresti. Flying at very low altitude, the 376th mistook Targoviste for the IP and turned southeast on the briefed bomb-run heading, which took the two groups to the west of Ploesti--an error that wasn't discovered until they were on the outskirts of Bucharest. At that point, Ent broke radio silence, ordering the two groups to turn north and attack targets of opportunity in the complex of refineries.

The 93d Group, led by Lt. Col. Addison E. Baker, a National Guard officer who had been called to active duty in 1940, caught a glimpse of refineries off to the left. He and his pilot, Maj. John Jerstad, who had completed his combat tour but volunteered for the mission, bored in on an unidentified refinery, which turned out to be Columbia Aquila, a 44th Group target. Enemy defenses, much heavier than anticipated, were thoroughly aroused. More than 230 antiaircraft guns, supported by many barrage balloons and smoke pots, surrounded the refineries, with perhaps 400 fighters in the area.

(IMG:http://images6.fotki.com/v76/photos/1/133612/940982/fribergploestimap2-vi.jpg)

Into a maelstrom of ground fire, Baker led the group. Short of the refinery, his B-24 was hit and burst into flames. Baker and Jerstad could have bellied in on open fields or pulled up to bailout altitude and probably saved themselves and their crew. But this was a mission on which some thought the outcome of the war might hinge. Without wavering, they led the bombers straight on to the refinery before crashing into the ground. Both Baker and Jerstad were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Off to the right of their funeral pyre, a second element of the 93d bombed two refineries assigned to the 98th Group. Meanwhile, five B-24s of the 376th Group led by Maj. Norman C. Appold hit the Concordia Vega refinery, originally assigned to the 93d, and "emerged covered with soot" as other 376th bombers unloaded on various segments of the Ploesti complex.

(IMG:http://images6.fotki.com/v76/photos/1/133612/940982/xploestia-vi.jpg)

While the 376th and 93d were making the best of a bad situation, the other three, led by veteran pilot Col. John R. "Killer" Kane, commander of the 98th, turned at Pitesti as planned. The tail-end 389th under Col. Jack Wood broke off to the northeast, bombing the refinery at Campina to complete destruction. Four aircraft were lost to flak, one of them piloted by 21-year-old 2d Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes, who was on his fifth combat mission. His B-24, hit by ground fire, leaked streams of gasoline from wing and bomb-bay tanks.

Below lay wheat fields, where Hughes could have landed, but instead he drove on through the smoke and flame created by the bombers ahead of him, struck his target, and came out with his left wing sheathed in flame. His desperate attempt to save the crew by crash-landing on a lake bed failed when one wing of the blazing B-24 hit a river bank and the plane exploded. The mission's third posthumous Medal of Honor was awarded to Hughes.
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alexkdl
Posted: February 21, 2005 10:57 pm
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Hello Oldbuldgeon

Thanks for posting the message and welcome to the TW topics 62 years later .

While the context of your posted message is rather very general and is well known to all of us in here, I personally appreciate you took the time and effort to post this long long message and join this TW thread which has received the strongest participation on the Internet from somany people, former aircrews, survivors relatives ,historians and people from the other side who were once opponents and now are friends...we all seek to revive the heroism of those who flew sofar and were ready for the ultimate sacrifice in order free us all from the tirrany of Nazzies but also to revive the patriotism of those ARR pilots who fought to defend their country on line of their duty.

We at TW look forward to continue hearing from you too in due course of this topic

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on February 22, 2005 12:27 am
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