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Horace W Austin Jr

Military

1st Lt. Horace W. Austin, Jr. from Virginia Beach, VA, flew as command pilot in the B-24D 42-40778, 'Southern Comfort' on the Aug 1, 1943 raid on Ploesti, while temporarily assigned to the 9th Air Force.

After Ploesti, two weeks later, on 16 Aug, 1943, he was shot down in 'Southern Comfort', on a mission to Foggia, Italy, where the 506th Squadron suffered terrible losses of both men and aircraft. Two of Lt. Austin's crew, Lt. Singer and Lt. Finder were KIA. The rest of the crew were captured by the Italians. After being hit by flak, the plane caught fire, and pilot Austin had to give the bail out order. Austin and eight crew members became Prisoners of War, and 2 were Killed in Action (KIA). Lt. Austin escaped from his captivity from the Germans after his bail out. The rest of the crew was captured by the Italians. When Austin and other officers were handed over to the Germans for transport to Stalag Lufts in Germany, he and two others jumped off the POW train. He used his Air Force map, as he spent a couple of weeks walking across Italy after he escaped from the German POW train. The other two were recaptured and shot. Austin spent several weeks walking across Italy until he ultimately crossed over the British 8th Army lines in Italy and was flown back to London, and then back to the USA.

He was training Nationalist Chinese pilots in California when the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Horace Austin died in 1966. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Service

People

  • Andrew Fabiny

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator #42-40778. ...

  • Sheldon Finder

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40778. ...

  • Allen Green

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40778.

  • Glenn Hickerson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40778. ...

  • Joseph Jett

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    ...

  • Leon Johnson

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot; Commanding Officer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Superior leadership during the Ploesti raid 1 August 1943 in B-24 #41-23817 'Suzy Q. ' ...

  • David Lee

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40778. ...

  • Thomas Purcell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40778. ...

  • Edgar Shaw

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40778.

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 9th Air Force
  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 506th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-40778 'Southern Comfort'

    B-24 Liberator
    A/C flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid returning safely to Libya. Lost on 16 Aug 1943 mission to the airfields at Foggia, Italy. Several of the crewman taken POW escaped. A/C Crashed in a field near Potenza. 2 KIA 7 POW. No MACR.

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...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Virginia Beach, Virginia

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 December 2019 13:07:18 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 44th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2019 12:08:18 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2019 12:04:16 Kickapoo Changes to nickname and biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
23 September 2019 19:19:25 Kickapoo Changes to unit associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
23 September 2019 19:16:47 Kickapoo Changes to biography, awards, person associations and mission associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
19 September 2019 18:27:01 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
19 September 2019 18:24:33 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- John S. Young, Jr. - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
16 September 2019 06:20:05 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
16 September 2019 06:12:11 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:13:11 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ploesti by Dugan & Stewart, 44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties by Will Lundy pp. 114-6, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol I by Bishop & Hey p. 235

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