The B-24D, 42-72767 - Was named 'Flame McGoon'. 'Flame McGoon's first pilot was Lt. Ben Konsynski, and he gave her the name, based on a character in Al Capp's comic strip "Lil Abner." It was part of the 9th Air Force, the 376th Bomb Group, and the 513th Bombing Squadron. The B-24D, 'Flame McGoon' flew on Operation Tidal Wave, August 1, 1943.
Aircraft Lost - July 31, 1944, ROU - MACR 7210 - Pilot William J. Parerick.
It's target that day was the oil storage dump at Targoviste, Romania. The crew on the last mission was as follows:
William J. Paterick - Pilot
Lester A. Mizer - Co-Pilot
William L. Frese - Navigator
Morton E. Smith - Bombardier
Calvin F. Stanfill - Flight Engineer
Archie M. Stien - Radio Operator
Lawrence C. Longerbeam - Gunner
Jerry C. Roch - Gunner
Earl Haltli - Gunner
Kenneth Hamilton- Gunner
Lt. William L. Frese, volunteered for this mission, his 50th, that would have completed his tour. He was looking forward to his return home. Lt. Frese was captured and spent the rest of the war as a POW in Roumania.
Resources - 376th Bomb Group
According to Pilot William Paterick's accounts, "Had we been able to fly 2 more minutes, we would have been rescued." But the results of the 4 direct flak hits were devastating. Of the 10 man crew, 6 were captured and became POWs. One man, Morton Smith, the bombardier, didn't have his chute, so he piggybacked down with the navigator, William Frese. Half way down, Lt. Smith lost his grip and fell into the burning wreckage of the 'Flame McGoon'. 3 other crew members were shot to death from gun fire from the ground. July 31, 1944
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...
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...