Howard Benjamin Walsh, Pilot of The Little Gramper.
"The Little Gramper" was a B-24D Liberator 42-40722 from the 566th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF and crew. Aircraft was transfered to the 491st BG on May 15,1944 for use as the formation assembly ship.
Ben Walsh served as pilot with the 564th Bomb Squadron of the 389th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Hethel, England.
On 19 July 1943, while on TDY to the 9th Air Force, his B-24 42-40665 'Ten High' was attacked by fighters and he and his crew bailed out near Malta. After the Ploesti raid on 1 August 1943, he took over as the pilot of The Little Gramper from Jack Dieterle.
Distinguished Flying Cross (OLC), Air Medal (3 OLC), Purple Heart
Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
After completing his training as a bomber pilot at Biggs Field in Texas, his squadron, the 566ᵀᴴ BS of the 389ᵀᴴ BG, was established at Hethel Field in Norwich early in 1943.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
He was the waist gunner on Jack Dieterle's ship, B-24 42-40722 "The Little Gramper", during the great raid on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania on Black Sunday, 1 August 1943. The plane returned with its crew intact but with some damage to one of...
Units served with
The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...
B-24 Liberator 42-40723 'The Little Gramper' 566th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Lt Jack W Dieterle, returning safely to Libya. Transferred to the 491st Bomb Group 15 May 44. Noted as War Weary repainted...
B-24 42-40665 (389th BG, 564th BS, *Ten High*) damaged by Lt. Wilhelm Kientsch in Bf109G-6 of JG 27/6. and ditched near Malta July 19, 1943. 4 injured, 6 OK.
Military site : airfield
Construction of Hethel airfield began in 1941, and was finished in late 1942. The number of hardstandings was increased from the planned 36 to 50 in 1942, in order to accommodate a full heavy bomb group. The 320th Bomb Group occupied the base for ten...
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