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Robert Sternfels

Military

Lt. Robert Sternfels was a B-24D command bomber pilot in WWII in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bombing Group, the Pyramiders, and the 345th Bombing Squadron, 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 World War II, Lt. Sternfels was sent to and based at Benghazi, North Africa, where he engaged in many tactical missions against the Axis land army and shipping over the Mediterranean Sea. He was awarded the Silver Star for his role in the execution of Tidal Wave, which sought the destruction of the major part of the German oil supplies in 1943. A photograph of his B-24 Liberator "Sandman" flying low through the smoke, fire, and explosions over his target, White IV, which is often associated with the occasion and was a source of pride for Sternfels. He achieved the rank of Major before being honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps. Later in life he cherished the Thursday morning breakfasts with his WWII friends talking about their experiences. The two things Robert loved most in the world were his country and his family.

Service

People

  • 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...

  • Harold Korger

    Military | Colonel | Bombardier Navigator | 98th Bomb Group
    Lt. Harold Korger was a bombardier in the 344th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. He flew on the famous mission, Operation Tidal Wave, Aug 1, 1943, to knock out the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. ...

  • Walter Stewart

    Military | Colonel | 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...

  • Norman Whalen

    Military | Major | Navigator / Nose Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Norman Whalen joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. After graduating from Navigator School in Monroe, Louisiana, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 9th Air force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron...

  • John Young

    Military | Major | B-24 Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Lieutenant John S. Young from Dallas Texas was a B-24D Liberator bomber pilot with the 9th Air Force, 98th Bomb Group and the 344th Bombing Squadron, based at Cairo, Egypt, Tobruk, and Benghazi, Libya, in the Mediterranean theatre 1942-3. ...

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Units served with

  • 9th Air Force
  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

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

  • 345th Bomb Squadron

    345th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron and trained by Third Air Force. Deployed to Egypt in June 1942 over South Atlantic Transport Route transiting from Morrison Field, Florida though the Caribbean to Brazil; performed trans-Atlantic...

Aircraft

  • 42-40402 The Sandman

    B-24 Liberator
    Crew of "The Sandman" on the Ploesti raid: ...

  • 41-24311 'Hadley's Harem'

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, named 'Hadley's Harem' was Lt. Gilbert Hadley's personal airplane and the one he flew on the mission to destroy Hitler's oil refineries at Ploesti Romania in 1943. ...

  • 41-11825 'Hail Columbia' ~ 'Grumpy' ~ 'Little Chief Big Dog'

    B-24 Liberator
    This aircraft originally served in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bomb Squadron as 'HAIL COLUMBIA'. It was 344th's CO Col. John R. Kane's personal aircraft until Kane became the 98th Bomb Group CO and turned it over to Herman ...

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...

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 July 2019 08:18:11 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Anatomy Of A Disaster - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultz ---- TogetherWeServed.com ---- FindAGrave.com ---- Personal Archives - John S. Young

Date Contributor Update
18 July 2019 17:04:43 Kickapoo Changes to biography, awards, unit associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2018 17:58:58 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

The Orange County Register

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2018 17:48:58 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

The Orange County Register

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2018 16:59:28 Kickapoo Created entry with surname, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, person associations, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

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