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Uzal Girard Ent

Military

Uzal Girard Ent was an American Army Air Force officer who served as the commander of the 9th Air Force and subsequently the 2nd Air Force during World War II. He flew as mission commander on the Aug 1, 1943, Ploesti oil refinery raid, Operation Tidal Wave. At his first IP, approaching Ploesti from the south, he ordered his pilot Col. Keith Compton to turn east, toward Bucharest, instead of continuing north toward Ploesti in spite of immediate warnings from Col. Walter Stewart and others on the radio and even from his own navigator on his aircraft's intercom, that he had made a disastrous wrong turn away from the Ploesti refinery area north of them. This action caused consternation among the pilots leading the 93rd and the 376th Bomb Groups following Gen.Ent in the B-24D, 'Teggie Ann', flown by Col. Keith K. Compton. A number of those pilots, including Col. Addison Baker, John Palm and Ramsey Potts, after recovering from the shock of what they had seen just happened, decide not to follow Ent away from their bombing objectives. They all turned back north and west toward Ploesti, on their own, in order to strafe and bomb targets of opportunity. This series of actions caused much of the chaos and confusion that the mission fell into, and led to the loss of many of the lives of the pilots who made the decision to disobey their attack plan orders and turned back north and west to attack and bomb the Ploesti refineries on their own. Gen. Ent and Col. K.K. Compton were both awarded Distinguished Service Cross medals for their actions over Ploesti. Col. Addison Baker and Major John Jerstad were shot down and killed in action as they attacked White IV, the Astra Romano refinery. John Palm was shot down and grievously injured attacking Ploesti, but survived the crash of his B-24 with the loss of his leg, and became a prisoner of war.

After the war, Gen. Ent was seriously injured in a flying accident when he crashed his B-25 Mitchell bomber during a takeoff at the Fort Worth Army Airfield in Texas, when he pulled his landing gear "UP" handle before his B-25 had reached flying speed, causing the plane to settle onto the runway as the landing gear retracted. The propellers struck the runway pavement, and one of them broke apart, separated from it's hub, and penetrated the pilots' cockpit area, severing Ent's spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Hospitalized for many months, he learned to walk again using braces and eventually retired due to his disability in 1946 with the final rank of Major General. He died of complications from his back injury in 1948.

Awards: DSM (OLC), DSC (OLC), DFC (OLC), AM (OLC), LOM, Campaign, Defense, WWI and WWII Victory, EAME (3 battle stars). Also Bolivian Order of the Condor of the Andes, the Peruvian Order of Ayacucho (Commander), the Peruvian Aviation Cross (1st Class), and the Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Service

People

  • Keith Compton

    Military | Lieutenant 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 in the B-24D, 'Teggie Ann'...

  • John Kane

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Command Pilot | 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...

  • John Palm

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 376th Bomb Group
    B-24

  • Walter Stewart

    Military | Colonel | B-24D Pilot | 93rd Bomb 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 overhead. Jack Adamson, who had been my mission companion, said to me, `There's a war coming.' Later that...

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Units served with

Aircraft

Missions

  • 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 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57 B...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Northumberland, PA, USA 3 March 1900

Son of Oscar Wellington and Elizabeth [Girard] Ent.

Held Command Benghazi, Libya February 1943 – December 1943

Held Command of Ninth Air Force

Held Command December 1943 – October 1944

Held Command of 2nd air Force

Crashed WIA Fort Worth, TX, USA October 1944

In October 1944, was seriously injured in the crash of a B-25 on takeoff at the Fort Worth Army Airfield, Texas. Paralyzed from the waist down he learned to walk again using braces.

Retired 1946

Retired (disability in line of duty) in 1946 with the rank of major general.

Died Denver, CO, USA 5 March 1948

Fitzsimons General Hospital

Buried Riverview Cemetery, Northumberland, Northumberland County, PA 8 March 1948

Riverview Cemetery
Northumberland, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 March 2021 10:20:30 Kickapoo Changes to biography and person associations
Sources

Ploesti - An Anatomy Of Disaster - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2021 22:01:57 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Ploesti - An Anatomy Of Disaster - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2021 21:38:46 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2021 21:28:43 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Into The fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2021 21:13:26 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Into The fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
15 November 2020 08:51:14 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Into The Fire -- Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
03 May 2020 09:44:05 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, biography, awards and events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/312834448
https://www.fold3.com/image/259843332
https://www.fold3.com/image/603994351
https://www.fold3.com/image/604448800
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/134273789/uzal-girard-ent

Date Contributor Update
27 April 2020 05:24:20 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultzl

Date Contributor Update
27 April 2020 05:18:38 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2020 18:35:27 jmoore43 Changes to middlename and events
Sources

Added middle name and a Buried event per Find-a-grave Memorial ID 134273789.

Date Contributor Update
13 August 2019 01:40:35 Kickapoo Changes to biography and person associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultz ---- Uzal Girard Ent - Wikipedia

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2019 09:34:51 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2019 09:28:00 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
28 February 2019 04:51:58 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
29 March 2015 20:41:58 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/ USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
29 March 2015 20:39:02 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/ USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
29 March 2015 20:37:16 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/ USAAF Photo.

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