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B-24 liberator #41-11768 'Kickapoo' of 344th BS, 98th BG, 9th AF. Crashed shortly after take-off for the August 1, 43 low-level Ploesti, Romania mission. She lost an engine just after getting airborne and then caught fire while banking back toward the field to land, then a wing touched the ground and she smashed into a concrete pole and burst into flames, killing all but two of the crew.

1st Lt. Robert J. Nespor - Pilot (KIA), 2nd Lt. John C. Riley - Co Pilot (KIA) Detached Service from 93rd BG
2nd Lt. Russell W. Polivka - Navigator (WIA) D.S. from 93rd BG, 2nd Lt. Thurman L. Ward - Bombardier (KIA) D.S. from 93rd BG
T/Sgt. Vaun D. Wenrich - Engineer/Top Turret (KIA) D.S. from 93rd BG, T/Sgt. Armand R. Massart - Radio Op (KIA) D.S. from 93rd BG
S/Sgt. George W. Lawlor - Gunner (KIA) D.S. from 93rd BG, S/Sgt. Edwin G. Sliwa - Gunner (KIA) D.S. from 93rd BG
S/Sgt. Eugene R. Garner - Gunner (WIA) D.S. from 93rd BG, S/Sgt. John P. D'Armour - Gunner (KIA) D.S. from 93rd BG.




  • 41-11768 Kickapoo

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 liberator #41-11768, 'Kickapoo', of the 344th Bombing Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. This was Lt. John S. Young's second regular aircraft after he lost his first B-24 in theater, which was shot down earlier in 1943 in an air fight near...


  • 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...


Date Contributor Update
18 April 2015 13:59:25 Al_Skiff Created entry with caption, unit associations and mission associations

USAAF Photo.