Lt. Sam Neeley's B-24D, Raunchy, and it's crew. Pilot Lt. Sam Neeley is in the front row, second from right, smiling. Lt. Neeley and most of his crew were killed (KIA), over Ploesti, after, Raunchy, snagged a barrage balloon cable on their right wing, pulling an explosive charge on the cable down, which detonated on contact with the wing and blew the wing off, crashing the airplane into the ground. Lt. Neeley and seven of his crewmen were killed in the crash. 8 (KIA). Two crewmen, SSgt Schiffmacher and SSgt Allen, survived the crash and were captured wounded. 2 (WIA) (POW). August 1, 1943 1
Sgt. Alfred David Cason was a gunner on the B-24D, Raunchy, flown on Operation Tidal Wave by Lt. Sam Neeley. Both Lt. Neeley and Sgt. Cason were Killed In Action (KIA) over Ploesti when their B-24D, Raunchy, hit a barrage balloon cable explosive. 1 Aug 43.
Gunner Sgt. Alfred D. Cason DFC MIA/KIA. MACR 169
Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
Squadron: 344th Bomb Squadron - 98th Bomb Group - 9th Air Force
Service Number : 14028237
Awards: : Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster - Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters - Purple Heart
Target: Ploesti - White IV - Astra Romano Refinery
Missing Air Crew Report Details - USAAF MACR 169
Date Lost: 1-Aug-43
Aircraft Serial Number: 41-11819
Aircraft Model : B-24D
Aircraft Radio Call Letter : G
Aircraft Name: Raunchy
Location: Lost near the target, White IV, Ploesti, Romania
Cause: AA Balloon - Crew of 10 : 8KIA - 2POW
Sgt. Alfred "Al" Cason lost his life on Operation Tidal Wave, one of the most daring raids of WW2, coming in at tree top level to bomb and destroy the Romanian oil refineries at Ploesti and Campina, Romania. For his many combat missions in North Africa and the Mediterranean theater of operations against the Germans during 1942 and 1943, Sgt. Cason was awarded the following medals : The Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster for valor on the Ploesti raid. - The Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters - The Purple Heart
Lt. Samuel R. Neeley and the crew of the 98th Bomb Group were briefed to fly on the left side of Flight One, the first wave of the 98th's Bomb Group's planes attacking White IV, the Astra Romano refinery complex. Immediately after bomb release, Raunchy, was hit by an AA balloon cable attached with explosive devices, which detonated and blew the wing off. MACR 169
The radio operator and a gunner, survived the crash and became POWs. Sgt. Cason appears on the Tablets Of The Missing at The Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy. - Find A Grave Memorial - 56362747. Cason's body was never identified or recovered.
Crew of Raunchy :
1st/Lt. Samuel R. Neeley - Pilot
1st/Lt. Joel I. Corn - Navigator
2nd/Lt. Herman H. Henslee - Co Pilot
2nd/Lt. Eugeen L. Rodgen - Bombardier
Sgt. Robert P. Schultz - Gunner
Sgt.Charles P. Geers - Gunner
Sgt. Earl T. Edelen - Gunner
Sgt. Alfred D. Cason - Gunner
Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | B-24 Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
Sgt. Alfred David Cason was a gunner on the B-24D, Raunchy, flown on Operation Tidal Wave by Lt. Sam Neeley. Both Lt. Neeley and Sgt. Cason were Killed In Action (KIA) over Ploesti when their B-24D, Raunchy, hit a barrage balloon cable explosive. 1...
Military | First Lieutenant | B-24D Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
Pilot Lt. Samual Neeley was a B-24 Bomber pilot in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in WWII. He served in the 9th Air force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th bomb Squadron in North Africa, flying bombing and strafing missions, mostly against...
Units served with
The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942.
The 344th Bombing Squadron was first activated at MacDill Field, Florida as one of the original three squadrons assigned to the 98th Bombardment Group. The 344th soon moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana, where it began to train as a Consolidated B-24...
The B-24D Liberator, Raunchy, 41-11819, was in the 344th Bomb Squadron, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 9th Air Force, based at Benghazi, Libya, North Africa, in early 1943.
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...
|Killed in action
||1 August 1943