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Robert J Nespor Jr

Military

Lt. Nespor was a B-24 command bomber pilot of the 330th BS, 93rd Bomb Group, 9th AF. He was reassigned to fly the B-24 Liberator #41-11768, 'Kickapoo', of the 344th BS, 98th BG, 9th AF for Operation Tidal Wave, the Ploesti oil refineries mission. He crashed shortly after take-off for the August 1, 1943 low-level Ploesti, Romania mission when the 'Kickapoo' lost an engine just after getting airborne and then caught fire while banking back toward the field to land, when a wing smashed into a concrete pole on short final. The plane burst into flames, and cartwheeled into the ground. Nespor and all but two of the crew were killed.

Lt. Russell briefed the accident board of inquiry that Nespor lost two engines on starboard side and then on Port side just as they were coming in. He spent 1 ½ years in the hospital and went through a number of operations recovering from the burns he had suffered. Sgt. Garner who died in November 2005 went through numerous plastic surgeries as well.

Nespor was an original 98th Bomb Group copilot who was grounded with dysentery so he could not finish his tour with the rest of the original crews. Lt Polivka revealed the fact that Nespor could have easily ditched in the Mediterranean but wanted to save the plane as this was his last mission. He had been cleared by the tower to return for an abort landing.
KIA.

Service

People

  • John Kane

    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...

  • John Riley

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot B-24D
    Lt. John Riley lost his life, as one of the first casualties of "Operation Tidal Wave" on August 1st, 1943, one of the biggest, most important, and most daring air raids of WWII, coming in at tree top level to destroy the Germans' Romanian oil...

  • John Young

    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, and the 344th Bombing Squadron, the Pyramiders, based at Cairo, Egypt, Tobruk, and Benghazi, Libya, in 1942-3. He flew on...

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Units served with

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    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...

  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

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

  • 330th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 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...

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 B24Ds that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Oklahoma, USA 1921

1921,Oklahoma, USA.

Killed in action Benghazi, Libya 1 August 1943

Pilot of 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. Nespor lost the #4 engine just after getting airborne and, then lost all three of the remaining engines and caught fire while banking back toward the field to land. After losing all power on short final approach, the left wing hit a a concrete pole. The plane cart wheeled into the ground in flames. KIA.

Lived in Oklahoma, USA
Assigned Benghazi, Libya

330th BS, 98th BG, 9th AF.

Buried Fort Scott National Cemetery, 900 East National Avenue, Fort Scott, KS 66701, USA

Fort Scott National Cemetery
Fort Scott, Bourbon County
Kansas, USA.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 October 2018 22:57:28 Kickapoo Changes to biography and events
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
09 August 2018 11:29:36 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Find A Grave

Date Contributor Update
02 August 2018 08:53:13 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography and person associations
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- user "Kickapoo" https://www.americanairmuseum.com/user/36739

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2018 09:48:57 Kickapoo Changes to biography and unit associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploesti ! by Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2018 09:42:25 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploest ! by Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2018 09:14:46 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploesti ! by Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
08 March 2017 15:08:37 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography, events and unit associations
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Date Contributor Update
18 April 2015 14:25:47 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, suffix, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

http://usaafdata.com / http://www.findagrave.com

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