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42-40994

B-24 Liberator

The B-24D, 42-40994, Hell's Wench, was shot down and crashed, over Ploesti, Romania, on Operation Tidal Wave. All crewmen were Killed In Action - 10 KIA. Aug 1, 1943

Hell's Wench, was dispatched to North Africa with the 8th Air Force and the 93rd Bomb Group, to take part in Operation Tidal Wave in early 1943. Flown by Lt. Colonel Addison Baker and his copilot, Major John Jerstad on the mission, they were following their element lead aircraft, flown by Col. K.K. Compton, who was ordered by the Mission Commander, Gen. Uzal Ent, to turn south, heading for Bucharest at his first (wrong) IP, instead of turning north toward Ploesti ! Several pilots and Compton's own navigator, Col. Harold Wicklund, warned both Col. Keith Compton and the Mission Commander General Ent, on their airplane intercom, that they had made a disastrously wrong turn, but, when they failed to respond, Col. Baker and several other pilots broke formation from Compton and led a number of planes in their 93rd Bomb Group, who wanted to bomb their targets, back north and west, toward Ploesti.
On approach to the refinery areas, Hell's Wench, took two devastating direct flak hits. Baker immediately jettisoned his bombs, as both of his wings were hit. Their aircraft was leaking large amounts of fuel and quickly became engulfed in flames. Col. Baker and Major Jerstad stayed on course to the refineries as long as they could, but, finally tried desperately, to get some altitude so their crewmen could have some chance to bail out and live. Despite their attempts to gain altitude, the aircraft lost speed in the climb, stalled, rolled over, crashed, and exploded in flames, killing everyone aboard. 10 KIA. Aug 1, 1943.

Service

Units

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1 Mar 42 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15 May 42. the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida, to continue advanced flight training and also to fly antisubmarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico. They...

  • 328th Bomb Squadron

People

  • George Allen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | B-24 Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    SSgt. George Allen was killed in action on 1 August, 1943, during Operation Tidal Wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • Addison Baker

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Commanding Officer 93rd Bomb Group - B-24 Command Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Lieutenant Colonel Addison Baker was the Commanding Officer of the 93rd Bomb Group from May 17, 1943. He was killed in action (KIA) over Ploesti during Operation Tidal Wave on 1 August, 1943. ...

  • Charles Bennett

    Military | Technical Sergeant | B-24 Top Turret Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    TSgt. Charles Bennet was killed in action on Operation Tidal Wave onboard his assigned B-24D Liberator bomber, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • John Carroll

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 93rd Bomb Group
    TSgt. John Carrol was killed in action (KIA) on Operation Tidal Wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • Edgar Faith

    Military | Staff Sergeant | B-24 Waist Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Killed in action on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal wave onboard B-24 Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • John Jerstad

    Military | Major | B-24 Command Pilot | 376th Bomb Group
    Major John Jerstad was Killed In Action (KIA) on Operation Tidal Wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench. ...

  • Alfred Pezzella

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 93rd Bomb Group
    Killed in action on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • George Reuter

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 93rd Bomb Group
    KIA over Ploesti, Romania Aug 1 1943: I grew up knowing him as "Uncle Bud". He was known as "Bud" to his family. He had two sisters, and twin brothers. He was the second oldest child of my great grandparents. ...

  • Morton Stafford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Killed in action on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal wave onboard B-24 Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • Walter Stewart

    Military | Colonel | B-24 Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    In 1941, Walter Stewart was a 24 year old, U.S. Army Air Force cadet at the University of Utah. He wrote, "We were pulling guns around with horses as a plane flew overhead. Jack Adamson, who had been my Morman mission companion, said to me, "There's a...

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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...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

Failed to Return - Ploesti oil refinery raid 1st Aug 1943. Hit by Flak and downed with all crew members being KIA.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 May 2022 12:11:55 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations
Sources

MACR 331 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Date Contributor Update
17 November 2021 05:22:03 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Details added. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
17 November 2021 03:26:57 Kickapoo Changes to description and person associations
Sources

The Great Ground-Air Battle Of 1 August, 1943. - James Dugan - Carroll Stewart

Date Contributor Update
08 October 2021 12:20:22 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Into The Fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
09 August 2021 08:16:36 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Into The fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
09 August 2021 08:06:51 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
09 August 2021 07:43:53 Kickapoo Changes to media associations
Sources

The Great Ground-Air Battle Of 1 August 1943 - James Dugan& Carroll Stewart

Date Contributor Update
09 August 2021 07:06:30 Kickapoo Changes to nicknames
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - HELL'S WENCH

Date Contributor Update
27 August 2019 14:43:36 Emily Changes to unit associations
Sources

Ploesti Sortie Report, 93rd Bomb group

Date Contributor Update
28 November 2018 10:00:01 Kickapoo Changes to media associations
Sources

Personal collection

Date Contributor Update
28 November 2018 09:41:56 Kickapoo Changes to media associations
Sources

Ploesti Illustrated

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2018 00:16:02 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2018 00:13:58 Kickapoo Changes to nicknames and description
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2018 00:08:36 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
23 November 2018 23:38:26 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
23 November 2018 23:20:35 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2015 11:23:39 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, description, events, unit associations, person associations and mission associations
Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:52 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 331 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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