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42-40127

B-24 Liberator

Pilot Charles T Merrill's 2nd ship hence the 'Again'. TDY 9th AF.
B-24 Liberator #42-40127 'Thar She Blows Again' flew with the 329th BS, 93rd BG, 8th AF to Ploesti 1st Aug 43, safely returning to Libya. Safe but not unscathed - 1st Aug 43 damage report for A/C : "Bulkhead in fuselage badly damaged by 40mm. Elevator control cables damaged, AFCE rudder, elevator and trim tab control cables damaged. Left vertical stabilizer damaged by light flak. Leading edge left wing damaged by barrage balloon cable". On another mission the A/C took a direct 88mm hit in the turret well aft of the bomb bay, no ball turrets were carried so the crew used this space to store their heavy flying clothes and other supplies. The shell detonated in those clothes and the concussion was such that it knocked all the gunners to the floor and knocked the tail gunner from his turret.
After its return to the ETO a new crew and name, 'Bucket of Bolts' and further missions, A/C was declared as War Weary and renamed 'First Sergeant' became a high visibility assembly ship for the 458th BG.
On 27th May 44 whilst preparing for a mission, destroyed by fire on the ground at Horsham St Faith/Sta 123, England, fire caused by radio operator accidently discharging flare gun at his station. 4 crew members on board escaped the inferno via the bomb bay, with the pilot and engineer suffering 2nd degree facial burns.

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 458th Bomb Group

    458th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 458th Bomb Group (H) entered combat with the 8th Air Force in February 1944. Based at Horsham St. Faith in England, the combat crews participated in the decisive Campaigns 'Big Week', 'Big B', D-Day and the assault on Germany's oil industry waged...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    Group
    93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...

  • 329th Bomb Squadron
  • 330th Bomb Squadron
  • 754th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Frederick Angeloch

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 754BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x combat missions. Lt Melvin Watson crew. ETD Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Butt

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 458th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 754BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x combat missions. Lt Melvin Watson crew. Flight crew for B-24 assembly ship 'First Sergeant', when flares set A/C ablaze. 27-May-44. Awards: DFC, AM, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Jefferson Chadwick

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 93rd Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40127.

  • Gasper DeSimone

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 458th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 755BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Lt Neil Peters crew. 5 x combat missions. Survived ditching in B-24H 41-29331 'Blondie's Folly'; Mission to Friedrichshafen, 16-Mar-44; Forced to ditch in the Channel after fighters severely damaged A/C. Rescued by...

  • Paul Faggioli

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 458th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 754BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x combat missions. Lt Melvin Watson crew. Flight crew for B-24 assembly ship 'First Sergeant', when flares set A/C ablaze, along with pilot received facial burns in the ensuing fire 27-May-44. ...

  • Whitney Gregory

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 93rd Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40127.

  • Donald Grimes

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Engineer | 93rd Bomb Group
    On TDY to 9th AF. Flew as engineer of B-24 42-40127 on 1 Aug 43 Ploesti raid, returning to Libya. ...

  • Walter Landers

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 458th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 752BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Co-pilot aboard B-24 assembly ship 'First Sergeant'. Shot down by flak and crashed at Waldrach on 9-Aug-44 in B-24 41-28942. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 7890 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Acy Marchand

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 458th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 754BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x combat missions. Lt Melvin Watson crew. Flight crew for B-24 assembly ship 'First Sergeant', when flares set A/C ablaze. 27-May-44. Awards: DFC, AM, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Charles Merrill

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40127.

Show more

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 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57 B...

Places

  • Hardwick

    Military site : airfield
    Planned as an RAF bomber airfield, Hardwick was used first by the 310th Bomb Group, equipped with B-25 Mitchells. In December 1943, the B-24 Liberators of the 93rd Bomb Group moved in, and remained until the end of the war, flying over 330 missions....

  • Horsham St Faith

    Military site : airfield
    Horsham St Faith was an RAF Bomber Command Station opened in June 1940. It was home to Bristol Blenheim medium-bombers, and was for a time occupied by fighters, including those of No. 19 Squadron and No. 264 Squadron. From September 1942 the airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Survived Ploesti Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

Flew on Ploesti 1st Aug 43, raid, safely returning to Libya.

2nd Career February 1944

Declared as War Weary and renamed 'First Sergeant' became a high visibility assembly ship for the 458th BG.

Destroyed RAF Horsham Saint Faith, Norwich, Norfolk, UK 27 May 1944

27th May 44 whilst preparing for a mission, destroyed by fire on the ground at Horsham St Faith/Sta 123, England, fire caused by radio operator accidently discharging flare gun at his station. 4 crew members on board escaped the inferno via the bomb bay, with the pilot and engineer suffering 2nd degree facial burns.

Assigned RAF Hardwick, Norwich, Norfolk NR15, UK

330th BS, 93rd BG, 8th AF.

Assigned Benghazi, Libya

329th BS, 93rd BG, 8th AF. TDY 9th AF.

Assigned RAF Horsham Saint Faith, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

754th BS, 458th BG, 8th AF.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 April 2015 20:26:53 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.458bg.com / http://www.aviationarchaeology.com

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