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41-23813

B-24 Liberator

Was lost on January 21,1944 mission to bomb V-weapons sites in the Pas-de-Calais, France area. Repeatedly attacked by fighters until 3 of the engines were knocked out, the co-pilot was killed and the pilot was wounded. With the co-pilot slumped over the controls and only one engine running the wounded pilot couldn't maintain altitude and ordered the crew to bail out. The pilot, co-pilot, ball turret gunner and left waist gunner all were in the plane when it crashed. The ball turret gunner refused to jump and blocked the hatch, while the waist gunner opened his chute inside the plane and was forced to attempt to make it to the bomb bay due to the camera hatch being blocked. Two crewmen either suffered chute failure or jumped too low for them to open properly and were killed. Four were captured and one evaded to make it back to England 4 months later. It was the crews first mission. MACR 2358

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Command

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    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...

  • 68th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Lawrence Chandler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Evaded (EVD).

  • Eugene Cieply

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • William Jones

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Edward Kaslaskas

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Weldon Maneval

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 8 December 1943. Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Mitchell

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 8 December 1943. Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • James Posey

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot; Commanding Officer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Commanding Officer 44th Bomb Group from 3-September 1943 to 3-December 1943 while serving TDY with the 9th Air Force at Oudna, Tunisia. 1 August 1943, led Blue Target formation to Ploesti where they inflicted severe damage on the oil refineries.

  • Lewis Rhodes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Schild

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Prisoner of War (POW) 16 months. PH/ POW

  • Alfred Starring

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24D #41-23813 'Victory Ship'. Killed in Action (KIA).

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Missions

  • 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 B24Ds that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) France 21 January 1944

Was lost on January 21,1944 mission to bomb V-weapons sites in the Pas-de-Calais, France area. Repeatedly attacked by fighters until 3 of the engines were knocked out, the co-pilot was killed and the pilot was wounded. With the co-pilot slumped over the controls and only one engine running the wounded pilot couldn't maintain altitude and ordered the crew to bail out. The pilot, co-pilot, ball turret gunner and left waist gunner all were in the plane when it crashed. The ball turret gunner refused to jump and blocked the hatch, while the waist gunner opened his chute inside the plane and was forced to attempt to make it to the bomb bay due to the camera hatch being blocked. Two crewmen either suffered chute failure or jumped too low for them to open properly and were killed. Four were captured and one evaded to make it back to England 4 months later. It was the crews first mission. MACR 2358

Ploesti Survivor Ploiești, Romania

Flew on 1st Aug 43, Ploesti oil refinery raid, returning safely to base.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2015 20:57:30 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, description, events, unit associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

Roger Freeman Photo.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 2358 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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