Skip to main content
Edit entry 

42-52597

B-24 Liberator

Our pilot (Arthur Kraft) picked the plane up at the Willow Run factory and had to sign a $50,000 voucher. We were a new group. In February 1944 we took off from West Palm Beach, F:L, stopped in Trinidad and then on to Belem, Brazil. From there we went to Fortaleza, Brazil which was the jumping off point fly over the Atlantic. From Fortaleza we flew to Dakar (now in Senegal). On the way to Dakar, we were past the point of now return when we caught in an electrical storm. We were lit up like little Las Vegas! The radio operator had the trailing antenna out and lightning struck it, entering the catwalk in the bomb bay that lead to the cockpit. It completely destroyed the radios. The tail gunner was asleep on the catwalk at the time. He had GI flashlight in his pocket at the time. The lightning destroyed the flashlight and left a hole in the fuselage large enough to crawl through, but luckily the tail gunner was just stunned.
The next day we flew to Marrakesh, Morrocco where the repair of the plane took place. Then on to Shannon, Ireland and then to Attlebridge. When we arrived at Attlebridge we decided the appropriate name of the aircraft should be "Lady Lightning"! - James Bates, Waist Gunner

Service

Units

  • 466th Bomb Group

    466th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 466th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Attlebridge, Norfolk, during the last year of the war in Europe. The Group flew 232 missions in the course of the year and celebrated the 100th one by inviting local people onto the base to mark the...

  • 784th Bomb Squadron
  • 786th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Robert Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Right Waist Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • James Bates

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Waist Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • Robert Carr

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Waist Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • Clarence Cless

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • Peter Danylo

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Tail Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • Edward Dobran

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 466th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mijenaleck on 8/15/44 in B-24 Lady Lighting #4252597 POW

  • William Gatlin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mijenaleck on 8/15/44 in B-24 Lady Lighting #4252597 POW

  • Frederick Gerritz

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 466th Bomb Group
    Evadee. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mijenaleck on 8/15/44 in B-24 Lady Lighting #4252597 Evaded Capture

  • Charles Greene

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 466th Bomb Group

  • Charles Hughes

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer | 466th Bomb Group

Show more

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 273

    22 March 1944
    The German aviation industries at Oraneinburg and Basdorf were the intended primary target for this mission but dense cloud cover prevented the attack on these targets. The secondary target of Berlin, Germany and surrounding Targets of Opportunity (TOs...

  • 8th Air Force 554

    15 August 1944
    Airfields in NW Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium are the primary targets for this mission. 8th Air Force despatches a total of 932 aircraft. The raid is coordinated with 1,000 Royal Air Force (RAF) heavy bombers and Mosquitos attacking 9 airfields...

Places

  • Attlebridge

    Military site : airfield
    Attlebridge was constructed for RAF use and completed to that standard in 1942. However, with news that it was to be assigned to the American Air Force, the runways were extended and additional hardstandings and outbuildings constructed for the heavy...

  • Vledder

    Crash site

Events

Event Location Date
Delivered Willow Run, Ypsilanti Charter Twp, MI 48198, USA February 1944
First Combat Mission Berlin, Germany 22 March 1944
Shot Down 7946 Wanneperveen, Netherlands 15 August 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2018 19:00:41 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2018 18:59:33 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

466th BG Archives - Info provided by James O. Bates

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2018 18:51:41 466thHistorian Changes to person associations
Sources

"Attlebridge Arsenal" - Brassfield & Wassom
page 161

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2018 18:47:46 466thHistorian Changes to description
Sources

"Attlebridge Arsenal" - Brassfield & Wassom - page 161
Original story from a letter from James Bates to John Woolnough, February 1994

Date Contributor Update
07 August 2015 22:42:42 466thHistorian Changes to unit associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 00:53:12 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames, markings, place associations and media associations
Sources

466th Archives - Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:55 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 8428 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share