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42-40776

B-24 Liberator

The B-24D Liberator, 42-40776, Old Blister Butt, was originally deployed to Alconbury, U.K. in the 8th Air Force. It was later redeployed (TDY), as part of the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bomb Group, and the 564th Bomb Squadron, to Benghazi, Libya. Flown by Pilot Lt. Robert L. Wright, and his crew, Old Blister Butt, flew on the bombing mission to destroy the oil refineries at Campina, north of Ploesti, Romania. 1 Aug 1943
On Leaving the target area, Robert Wright and his crew saw their friends in the B-24D, Ole Irish, in trouble and limping away from the Campina refinery area with one engine destroyed by flak, streaming vapor and smoke. Lt. Wright made the decision to slow down and fly as fighter cover for his buddies, and escorted them all the way to the Turkish coast and relative safety. Both planes, Ole Irish, and, Old Blister Butt, returned safely to Benghazi, Libya. 1 Aug 1943.

Later, after returning to Britain, Old blister Butt's new crew renamed it, Widow, with the same nose art.

Originally - 328th Bomb Squadron (N), 93rd BG, 8th Air Force.
Transferred - 564th Bomb Squadron (YO H), 389th Bomb Group. 8th Air Force.
Transferred - 566th Bomb Squadron (RR K+), 389th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.

Name changed to, Widow, (B-24D-SA-95 CO) 406th Bomb Squadron, 801st (P) Bomb Group and to the 858th Bomb Squadron, the 492nd Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force for "Carpetbagger" missions.

Salvaged war weary at Langford Lodge, North Ireland. 29 May 45

Service

Aircraft

  • 41-11817 Stinger

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, 41-11817, named, Stinger, was flown on Operation Tidal Wave, the bombing mission to destroy the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, by Pilot Lt. Andrew Opsata and copilot Lt. Louis R. Quaglino, with their Bombardier, Lt. Donald Di...

  • 42-40746 Ole Irish

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, 42-40746, Ole Irish, was in the 564th Bomb Squadron, the 389th Bomb Group, and the 8th Air Force, at Hethel, Britain. It was deployed (TDY) to Benghazi, Libya, and flew on the Ploesti oil refinery mission. Ole Irish, piloted by Lt...

  • 42-40776 Old Blister Butt - Widow

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, 42-40776, Old Blister Butt, was originally deployed to Alconbury, U.K. in the 8th Air Force. It was later redeployed (TDY), as part of the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bomb Group, and the 564th Bomb Squadron, to Benghazi, Libya. Flown...

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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. ...

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    Group
    The 492nd Bomb Group were assigned to the 8th Air Force in April 1944. They flew 60 missions over occupied Europe from 11 May 1944 until 7 August 1944. ...

  • 801st Bomb Group

    801st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the Eighth Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out 'Carpetbagger' missions. These were night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europes to support resistance forces by dropping in agents,...

  • 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...

  • 328th Bomb Squadron
  • 406th Bomb Squadron
  • 564th Bomb Squadron
  • 566th Bomb Squadron

    566th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Constituted 566th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Dec. 1942. Activated on 24 Dec. 1942. Inactivated on 13 Sept. 1945. Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air...

  • 858th Bomb Squadron

People

  • David Altshuler

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40776.

  • Henry Gamelin

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator #42-40776.

  • Frank Jacobs

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator #42-40776. ...

  • Howard LaLonde

    Military | Major | B-24D Navigator | 389th Bomb Group
    Major Howard J. LaLonde was a B-24 navigator, originally assigned and deployed to the 389th Bomb Group, and the 8th Air Force in Hethel, Britain in Lt. Robert Wright's crew in, Old Blister Butt. He was, then, detached and deployed (TDY) to the 415th...

  • George Makin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40776.

  • James McClain

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40776. ...

  • Frank McLaughlin

    Military | Major | B-24 Command Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Lt. Frank B. McLaughlin took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the large bombing raid on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, as Command Pilot flying the B-24D Liberator, bomber, 42-40746, named, Ole Irish. Lt. McLaughlin in Ole Irish, took a number of...

  • Andrew Opsata

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24 Command Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Lt. Andrew Opsata was a B-24D Command pilot who flew the B-24D Liberator, 41-11817, Stinger, with his Copilot Lt. Louis Quaglino, and Bombardier Lt. Don Di Coscoe, on Operation Tidal Wave, assigned to the 389th Bomb Group, the 8th Air Force,...

  • John Ritchie

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40776.

  • Fred Sayre

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Lt. Fred Sayre was Lt. Robert Lee Wright's copilot, flying the B-24D Liberator, 42-40776, Old Blister Butt, on Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti. He bombed his target refinery and returned safely to Benghazi, Libya. 1 August 1943, ...

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Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D 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...

Places

  • Alconbury

    Military site : airfield
    Alconbury had been constructed as a satellite airfield for RAF Upwood and Wyton and was used by RAF Squadrons: Nos. 15, 40 and 156. In preparation for the arrival of American heavy bombers, the base was developed in 1942 with the runways extended. When...

  • Langford Lodge

    Military site : airfield
    Planned to be a Satellite Landing Ground for No. 23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove, Langford Lodge was selected in October 1941 to be developed as an air deport for the maintenance and repair of USAAF aircraft. A scheme was devised whereby the...

  • North Pickenham

    Military site : airfield
    Built comparatively late during 1943-44 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, North Pickenham was rather cramped as an airfield site so the main runway was shorter than typical. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...

  • Berca

    Military site : airfield

  • Lete

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Survived Ploesti Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Robert L Wright, returning safely to Libya.

Assigned Alconbury AAF 102

328th BS, 93rd BG, 8th AF.

Assigned Benghazi, Libya

564th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF. TDY 9th AF.

Assigned

566th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF.

Assigned North Pickenham, AAF 143

Name changed to 'Widow' (B-24DSA-95 CO) 406th BS, 801st(P) BG / 858th BS, 492nd BG, 8th AF for "Carpetbagger" missions.

Salvaged RAF Langford Lodge, Northern Ireland

Salvaged war-weary 29 May 45 at Langford Lodge, North Ireland

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2021 22:38:52 Kickapoo Changes to person associations
Sources

Added detail. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2021 12:02:30 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Added detail. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2021 05:07:31 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Airbase change. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2021 05:04:20 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

Punctuation. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2021 04:59:36 Kickapoo Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description and place associations
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40776 - Old Blister Butt

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2021 04:27:59 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40776 - Old Blister Butt

Date Contributor Update
26 September 2021 14:48:54 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Details added. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2021 16:23:02 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Spelling, wording. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2021 16:19:02 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Wording, spacing. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2021 16:16:10 Kickapoo Changes to description and aircraft associations
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40776 - Old Blister Butt - Widow

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2021 15:51:11 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40776 - Old Blister butt - Widow

Date Contributor Update
15 September 2021 18:41:12 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42- 40776 - Old Blister Butt

Date Contributor Update
15 September 2021 03:57:41 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-11817 - Stinger

Date Contributor Update
15 September 2021 03:32:34 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40776 - Old blister Butt

Date Contributor Update
14 September 2021 17:19:44 Kickapoo Changes to nicknames and description
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40775 - Old Blister Butt

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2015 18:09:22 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.freewebs.com / http://www.b24bestweb.com / http://home.comcast.net / http://www.fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
25 April 2015 18:45:45 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, description, events and media associations
Sources

http://www.freewebs.com / http://www.b24bestweb.com / http://home.comcast.net / http://www.fold3.com

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