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Operation Tidal Wave

1 August 1943

Official description

Not yet known


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 B24Ds were lost in total; 54 over Ploesti and 3 in the sea.

Five bomb groups were involved from the 8th and 9th Air Forces; the 44th, 93rd, 389th from the 8th and the 98th and 376th of the 9th.

Five Medals of Honor were awarded for the Ploesti raid. All five groups that took part received Presidential Unit Citations.

Mission details




Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator


Not yet known


  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb 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...

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    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...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 177
Number of aircraft Effective 167
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 57



  • Isaac Abeyta

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    ETO/ Queen Mary 9/5/42. Home/ Queen Mary 6/16/45. ...

  • Thomas Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Crew member of B-24 Liberator 41-23810 'Tarfu', flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti raid, returning safely to Libya. ...

  • James Adovasio

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Crew member B-24 Liberator #42-40773 564th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Capt Edward L Fowble, returning safely to Libya. ...

  • George Aguayo

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 389th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 1 December 1943 on mission to Solingen, B24#42-40793 'Blonds Away' was damaged by fighters and exploded while trying to land.

  • David Alexander

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 3/16/43. DS/Bengahzi 6/26/43. Returned to base 8/26/43. DS/Tunis 9/16/43. Completed tour 8/10/44. Trans/ 93 CBW 4/28/44. Flew on 'Ploesti 'raid on 1 Aug 43 Retired as Lt Col.

  • Andrew Anderson

    Military | Lieutenant | Co Pilot
    On August 1, 1943 my 23 year old father, Lt. Andrew L (Andy) Anderson, pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber named "Maternity Ward" and along with 1,728 other crewmen in 178 bombers, took off from an airfield in Benghazi, Libya on a mission called Operation...

  • Everett Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Killed in Action (KIA) on Ploesti raid while TDY with 9thAF in B-24 'Scrappy II' #4240375

  • William Anderson

    Military | Major | Command Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 67BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew on 1-Aug-43 raid on Ploesti earning his DSC for his actions. Flew as Command pilot on mission to V-1 sites at Agathe d' Aliermont, France 21-Jan-44; A/C hit by flak, Major Anderson was mortally wounded in the...

  • Norman Appold

    Military | Colonel | B-24 Command Pilot | 376th Bomb Group
    Norman Appold graduated from the Aviation Cadet Training Program in 1942, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. After completing pilot training, he served as a B-24 pilot in the 376th Bomb Group Association, completing 63 missions. ...

  • Philip Ardery

    Military | Major General | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Silver Star/ 2 DFCs/ 4 Air Medals/ Croix de Guerre Was command pilot on 1 Aug '43 raid on Ploesti ...

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  • 41-23711 'Jerks Natural'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 328th BS, 93rd BG, 8th AF, TDY 9th Benghazi, Libya. This aircraft flew the Aug. 1, 1943, Ploesti mission, diverting safely to Sicily. A/C was damaged over Austria on mission to Wiener Neustadt Bf 109 factory and crashed in Yugoslavia on...

  • 41-23717 Exterminator

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24 Liberator "Exterminator" (serial number 41-23717, H) originally flew with the 329th Bomb Squadron of the 93rd Bomb Group and was later transferred to the 330th Bomb Squadron (93BG) in March 1943. The first mission with the 330th BS was on 1st...

  • 41-23729 'Shoot Luke'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned 328th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. TDY 9th AF, Benghazi. Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, forced to abort. ...

  • 41-23778 'Jenny' 'Lady Luck'

    B-24 Liberator
    Temporarily attached to 9th AF and flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, returned to Libya. ...

  • 41-23779 '4Q2'

    B-24 Liberator
    A/C flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, returning safely to Libya. ...

  • 41-23810 'Tarfu'

    B-24 Liberator
    Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, returned safely to Libya. ...

  • 41-23813 'Victory Ship'

    B-24 Liberator
    Was lost on January 21,1944 mission to bomb V-weapons sites in the Pas-de-Calais, France area. Repeatedly attacked by fighters until 3 of the engines were knocked out, the co-pilot was killed and the pilot was wounded. With the co-pilot slumped over...

  • 41-23817 'Suzy Q'

    B-24 Liberator
    SUZY-Q, flown by Col. Leon Johnson, led the 44th Bomb Group on the Aug 1, 1943 Ploesti raid and was the most famous ship of the 67th Squadron. The plane was lost on Aug 16, 1943 on a mission to the north airfield at Foggia, Italy. The plane...

  • 41-24015 'Wing Dinger'

    B-24 Liberator
    Failed to Return - Lost near the target Ploesti, 1st Aug 43. Reported that the plane was afire as pilot 1st Lt George W Winger bravely climbed steeply up so that crew could bail out. 7 KIA, 2 POW. MACR 2410.

  • 41-24024 'Bewitching Witch'

    B-24 Liberator
    This aircraft was loaned to the 44th Bomb Group for the 1st Aug, 43 low-level mission to Ploesti, Romania. It was flown by 1st Lt Reginald L. Carpenters crew from the 67th Bomb Squadron. Badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire over the target, she was...

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Date Contributor Update
29 September 2014 17:33:41 Tom Created entry with name, date and description

The USAAF Handbook 1939-1945 by Martin Bowman (1997)