Page 36 of the 93rd Bomb Group unit history.
Many of the 8th Air Force Groups produced an unofficial unit history in the months after the war ended in Europe but before they were redeployed out of the ETO (European Theater of Operations).
Resembling a college yearbook, unit histories were an unofficial – and often tongue-in-cheek – record of the unit’s time based in the UK. They include photo montages showing different aspects of base life. Often the servicemen in the photos are unnamed. The American Air Museum hopes that by adding unit histories to the website as individual pages, the men in the photos will be identified and associated to their person entries. Many included lists of personnel and a mailing address, providing a means for servicemen to keep in contact with each other after the war. These lists are now incredibly useful records of where US airmen in England in 1945 called their home.
White I - the Columbia Aquila Refinery At Ploesti - Probably the crash sit of Addison Baker and john jerstad's airplane, Hell's Wench.
Col. Addison Baker was the Commanding Officer of the 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force from May 17, 1943 to August, 1943. Baker's Bomb Group, the 93rd, was one of three bomb groups from the Eighth Air Force in Britain that were sent to Benghazi, Libya to the 9th Air Force especially for Operation Tidal Wave to Ploesti. Col. Baker was killed in action on the raid on the Ploesti oil refineries, August 1, 1943.
Col Baker took to the air for the mission piloting the B-24 Liberator, 'Hell's Wench' (Serial #42-40994). Baker led the 93rd, as the second formation in the five-group mission of 177 aircraft. Co-piloting his aircraft was a volunteer and former member of the 93d Bomb Group, Major John L. Jerstad. When Baker's force reached the target area, the mission leader's plane turned at their first initial point and flew towards Bucharest instead of Ploesti, off to their right. Baker immediately broke radio silence and attempted to warn the mission commander, General Uzal Ent, of this error, but when they failed to respond and turn back to Ploesti, Baker and Jerstad broke formation and led the remainder of the force back to the correct IP, and turned in toward Ploesti, maintaining his formation to bomb his target as best he could. Although he was now attacking late and from the wrong direction, Col, Baker continued to lead and hold formation, as lead ship, for the 93rd and the following groups, as his plane, 'Hell's Wench' was quickly hit hard by the deadly and accurate ground flak, as they approached their target. Both of 'Hell's Wench's wings were hit and quickly became engulfed in flames, leaking fuel. At almost the same time, Baker and Jerstad had to break formation and pull up to avoid mid-air collisions with bombers from Col. John Kane's 98th lead group, now arriving in the target area from the opposite direction. With his aircraft failing now and almost totally engulfed in flames, Baker and Jerstad attempted desperately to gain some altitude so that his crew could escape his burning plane by parachute. But their luck had run out, and their efforts were too late to save 'Hell's Wench', as it lost speed in the climb, rolled over, crashed, and exploded in flames at White I, the Columbia Aquilla Refinery, killing Baker, Jerstad, and all of the other nine crewmen aboard.
- Col. Addison Baker's body was never recovered, he was given a memorial site in Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Florence, Italy. Col. Baker and his copilot, Major John Jerstad, were both posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery, determination, and sacrifice over Ploesti, Romania.
Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Air Group Commander / Command Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
Col. Addison Baker was the Commanding Officer of the 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force from May 17, 1943 to August, 1943. Baker's Bomb Group, the 93rd, was one of three bomb groups from the Eighth Air Force in Britain that were sent to Benghazi, Libya to...
Military | General | B-24 Command Pilot - Squadron Commander - Commanding Officer | 376th Bomb Group
Keith Karl Compton (December 9, 1915 – June 15, 2004) was an American Air Force Lieutenant General who was Vice Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command. He flew as Command Pilot with Gen. Uzal Ent on Operation Tidal Wave over the Ploesti oil...
Military | Major | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
Killed in Action (KIA) during Ploesti raid 1 August 1943 Held formation and bombed target after B-24 #42-240994 'Hell's Wench' was badly damaged.
MOH/ SS/ AM
Military | Colonel | B-24 Command Pilot - 98th Bomb Group Commander | 98th Bomb Group
John Riley Kane (January 5, 1907 – May 29, 1996) was a colonel in the United States Army Air Corps and later the United States Air Force. He received the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor, in World War II, for his...
Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 376th Bomb Group
Military | Major | B-24 Command Bomber Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
Lt. Robert Sternfels was a B-24D command bomber pilot in WWII who flew the famous B-24D bomber, 'The Sandman' on the mission Operation Tidal Wave to bomb the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, August 1, 1943. After enlisting as an Air Force pilot in...
Military | Colonel | B-24 Bomber Command Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
Walter Stewart was a B-24 bomber command pilot in WWII in the 8th Air Force, 93rd Bombing Group. In 1941, Stewart was a 24 year-old, U.S. Army Air Force cadet at the University of Utah. "We were pulling guns around with horses as a plane flew...
Military | Major | Command Bomber Pilot | 376th Bomb Group
Lieutenant John S. Young from Dallas Texas was a WWII B-24D Liberator bomber pilot with the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group the, "Force For Freedom", and the 344th Bombing Squadron, the "Pyramiders", based at Cairo, Egypt, Tobruk, and Benghazi,...
Units served with
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...
On August 1, 1943, the B-24D bomber 'Hells Wench', Serial # 42-40994, of the 93d Bomb Group, one of three groups from the Eighth Air Force sent from England to Benghazi, Libya to help the Ninth Air Force, for the largest air mission, so far, in WWII,...
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...
||1 January 1907
||1 August 1943
Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Florence American Cemetery.