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B-24 Liberator

The B-24D Liberator bomber, named FIGHTIN SAM, was inherited by the 801st Bomb Group, P, from the 8th Air Force and the 389th Bomb Group of Station 179 on the night of May 29-30, 1944. The Bales crew flew it for their first combat mission on the night of May 31-Jun 1, 1944. The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the 8th Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europe to support resistance forces by dropping in agents, supplies and leaflets. The B-24 Liberators flown by the Group were painted black to help the crews evade detection by enemy antiaircraft positions. It was transferred to the MTO in late 1944 with the 859th Bomb Squadron of the 8th Air Force.



  • 42-7766 HEAVY DATE

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24H, 42-7766, named, HEAVY DATE, with Pilot 1st Lt. Eldon Neil Colby, who flew this aircraft on 8 missions, including the one he was shot down in by ME-110's near the France/German border, on a raid to Ludwigshafenon, Dec 30, 1943. CoPilot Roger...

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  • 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. ...

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    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...

  • 801st Bomb Group

    801st Bomb Group

    The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the Eighth Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out 'Carpetbagger' missions. These were night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europes to support resistance forces by dropping in agents,...

  • 566th Bomb Squadron

    566th Bomb Squadron

    Constituted 566th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Dec. 1942. Activated on 24 Dec. 1942. Inactivated on 13 Sept. 1945. Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air...


  • Thomas Baum

    Military | Flight Officer | Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40722, Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-24 42-40738, "The Oklahoman." Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Eldon Colby

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    1st. Lt. Eldon Neil Colby flew the B-24D, 'TOUCH OF TEXAS' - 8th AF - 389th BG - 566th BS, on his first mission as a Pilot, after being the CoPilot on his original aircraft 'THE OKLAHOMAN' - # 42-40738. He was flying alongside 'THE OKLAHOMAN' in ...


  • Hethel

    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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Date Contributor Update
24 July 2021 06:57:58 Kickapoo Changes to production block number, nicknames and description

Operation Carpetbagger - Wikipedia

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2021 17:46:45 Kickapoo Changes to nicknames and unit associations

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40506

Date Contributor Update
20 July 2015 01:43:06 466thHistorian Changes to production block number

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
15 July 2015 10:16:12 jrugman Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, manufacturer, nicknames, unit associations and place associations

Page 73, The Mighty Eighth in Color, Roger Freeman