Col. Norman C. Appold - Command pilot of B-24D 'G I Ginny' on Operation tidal Wave over the Ploesti oil refineries
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.
Appold was involved in Operation Tidal Wave, code name of the historic low-level attack of oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania on August 1, 1943. This was the first large-scale low-level strike by heavy bombers against a well defined target up to that time and in World War II. B-24s of the 8th and 9th Air Forces undertook the 2,400 mile flight from Benghazi, Libya, the longest miision on record to that time. Due to heavy defenses and the low altitude of the raid, casualties were high with 53 of 178 B-24s lost, and 440 crew members killed and 220 captured or missing.
Appold, piloting the B-24 'G.I. Ginnie', led four other aircraft, who separated from the 376th Bomb Group, and bombed the Concordia Vega refinery through intense ground fire, and successfully returned to Benghazi, Libya. Major Appold received the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership, courage , and heroism that day over Ploesti. Appold was also awarded the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, an Air Force Commendation Medal, as well as numerous service awards. He was mentioned in "The 9th Air Force in World War II", by Ken Rust, Pub. Aero Publishers Inc. Appold was enshrined in the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame on April 19, 2008. He died in 2005.
Military | Lieutenant General | B-24 Command Pilot - Squadron Commander - Commanding Officer | 376th Bomb Group
Keith Karl Compton was an American Air Force Lieutenant General who was Vice Commander in Chief, in the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command. He flew as the Element Lead Aircraft's Command Pilot with Gen. Uzal Ent, the Ploesti Mission...
Units served with
Constituted as 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 Oct 1942 and activated in Palestine on 31 Oct. Began combat immediately, using B-24 aircraft. Operated with Ninth AF from bases in the Middle East, Nov 1942-Sep 1943, and with Twelfth AF from Tunisia...
B-24 Liberator #42-40657 'G I Ginnie', 514th BS, 376th BG, 9th AF, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Norman C Appold, returning safely to Libya.
1 August 1943
Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D 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...
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