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42-72843

B-24 Liberator

The B-24D, Strawberry Bitch, 42-72843, was assembled at the Consolidated plant in San Diego and ferried to Europe, eventually, to join the 9th Air Force in Cairo, Egypt. Daniel Rice was the pilot whose crew accepted delivery of the new B-24, ferried her to the U.K., and delivered her to the 8th Air Force, the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group, and the 512th Bomb Squadron, and, finally, was flown to North Africa to be temporarily detached (TDY) to the 9th Air Force at Benghazi, Libya.

The Strawberry Bitch, flew over 50 combat missions based in North Africa during September of 1943 thru June of 1944 with the 512th Bomb Squadron of the 376th Bomb Group. It took part in and survived the Ploesti oil refinery bombing mission of 1 August, 1943.

Each aircraft of the 376th was assigned a Recall Code (RCL), painted on its nose and vertical tail. The, Strawberry Bitch, was assigned RCL #24.

The plane was selected for preservation after World War II, and stored, beginning in 1946, at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base boneyard in Tucson, Arizona. It was flown from Tucson to the Air Force Museum for restoration and display in Dayton, Ohio, in May of 1959. It is painted in the pink desert camouflage as it was during its World War II campaigns in North Africa.

Major Max J. Hadley, along with Colonel Shower, was the last person to fly, Strawberry Bitch. He was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force base from 1955 to 1963. The plane arrived at Wright-Patterson AFB on Armed Forces Day, May 16th, 1959. It was escorted into Dayton by supersonic F-104 jet fighters.

Service

Units

  • 376th Bomb Group

    376th Bomb Group

    Group
    Constituted as 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 Oct 1942 and activated in Palestine on 31 Oct. Began combat immediately, using B-24 aircraft. Operated with Ninth AF from bases in the Middle East, Nov 1942-Sep 1943, and with Twelfth AF from Tunisia...

  • 512th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Daniel Rice

    Military | Pilot | 376th Bomb Group
    Lt. Daniel P. Rice was known for having delivered the famous B-24D Liberator bomber, named, Strawberry Bitch, to the 376th Bombardment Group in the 8th Air force in Britain. He flew 24 missions in B-24 bombers from Britain and Benghazi, Libya, before...

Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    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...

Places

  • Berca

    Military site : airfield

  • Lete

    Military site : airfield

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2021 05:12:56 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploesti - 42-72843 - Strawberry Bitch

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2021 05:06:34 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Word changes for clarity and accuracy. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2021 15:05:39 Kickapoo Changes to markings and description
Sources

Detail changes. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2021 10:41:30 Kickapoo Changes to markings, description and place associations
Sources

Details added. Spelling. Letter spacing. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2021 10:10:09 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-72843

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2021 09:19:30 Kickapoo Changes to production block number, description, unit associations and mission associations
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - Strawberry Bitch - Contributer : Maxine Barbian

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2021 08:57:17 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

ArmyAirCorps376thbg.com

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2020 16:05:23 jmoore43 Changes to unit associations
Sources

Added connections to the 512th BS & 376th BG mentioned in the A/C description.

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2018 04:50:20 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Airplanes Of The Past. com

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2018 04:43:14 Kickapoo Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, manufacturer and nicknames
Sources

Airplanes Of The Past

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