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'Hail Columbia' at Lete Airfield, Benghazi, 1943. One of five lead aircraft for the Ploesti bombing mission, flown by Group Leader Col. John R. Kane, command pilot, and Lt. John S. Young, his copilot. The airplane was extensively damaged by German flak over Ploesti. After joining up with several other crippled straggler B-24s exiting the battle area, including Lt. Robert Sternfels in 'The Sandman', Col. Walter Stewart in 'Utah Man', and Lt. Gib hadley in 'Hadley's Harem'. 'Hail Columbia' continued leading the crippled ships out of Romania, south, over the Pindus mountains, and was able to limp as far as Nicosia, Cyprus, minus Lt. Hadley, whose failing B-24 caused him to attempt a ditching off the Turkish coast, and was drowned and went down with his plane with most of his crew. The rest of the planes following 'Hail Columbia' landed safely at the British airbase at Nicosia. Col. Kane and Lt. Young crash landed 'Hail Columbia' on the British airbase after hitting a ditch across the runway there. The plane was written off as a total loss. 1 Aug 1943.

Connections

Units

  • 344th Bomb Squadron

    344th Bomb Squadron


    Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron and trained by Third Air Force. Deployed to Egypt in June 1942 over South Atlantic Transport Route transiting from Morrison Field, Florida though the Caribbean to Brazil; performed trans-Atlantic...

  • 9th Air Force

    9th 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...

  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942. ...

Aircraft

  • 42-72843 Strawberry Bitch

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24D "Strawberry Bitch" SN 42-72843 was assembled at the Consolidated plant in San Diego, and later ferried to Europe to join the 9th Air Force in Cairo, Egypt. Daniel Rice was the pilot whose crew accepted delivery of the new B-24, ferried her...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2019 13:05:33 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Removed associations not depicted in image

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2019 23:53:55 Kickapoo Changes to caption
Sources

Ploesti - Anatomy Of A Disaster - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2019 06:37:30 Kickapoo Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives ---- Anatomy Of A Disaster - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill

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