Skip to main content
Edit entry 

42-52764

B-24 Liberator

Assigned to 833rd Bomb Squadron, 486th Bomb Group, 8th AF USAAF.

Failed to Return (FTR) raid to Luztkendorf, Germany. Hit by Flak and abandoned, 5 x EVD, 5 x POW. 28-May-44. MACR 5390.

Wreckage of the aircraft was discovered by Marcel Dubois in Belgium.

Service

Units

  • 486th Bomb Group

    486th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 486th Bomb Group flew both B-24s and B-17s, swapping from the former aircraft to the latter in late July 1944 after 49 missions. In total the Group flew 292 missions during the war and remarkably the 834th Bomb Squadron lost no aircraft or...

  • 833rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • William Kozulak

    Military | Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 486th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 May 1944 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Prisoner of War (POW). Awards: POW

  • John Lawrence

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 486th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Prisoner of War (POW). Awards: POW

  • Louis Lujan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 486th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Prisoner of War (POW). Awards: POW

  • Fred Morley

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 486th Bomb Group
    Four missions. Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag Luft III. Awards: AM, POW, WWII Victory.

  • Daniel O'Connell

    Military | Flight Officer | Bombardier | 486th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Evaded. Hidden by the Belgium people, liberated in September, 1944 by the American Army. Awards: WWII Victory.

  • Alfred Sanders

    Military | Major | Pilot | 486th Bomb Group
    Named his A/C after LSU's mascot Mike the tiger, as he was a former track star at Louisiana State University. ...

  • James Sizemore

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 486th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Evaded. Hidden by the Belgium people, liberated in September, 1944 by the American Army.

  • Autley Smith

    Military | Sergeant | Nose Gunner | 486th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 832BS, 486BG, 8AF USAAF. Fellow Louisiana State University Alumni, influential in the naming of Lt Alfred Sanders B-24. Only flew 5 missions. Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Evaded. Lived with Belgian...

  • Robert Swaffield

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 486th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU. ' Prisoner of War (POW). Awards: POW, WWII Victory.

  • Thomas Zoebelein

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 486th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 832BS, 486BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down 28-May-44 in B-24 42-52764 'Mike, Spirit of LSU', Evaded (EVD). Lived with Belgian Underground from May till September 1944. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

Missions

  • 376

    28 May 1944

Places

  • Sudbury

    Military site : airfield
    Situated between the villages of Great Waldingfield and Acton, the airfield was used by the 486th Bomb Group from March 1944 to August 1945. Facilities for administrative offices for the Combat Wing were also made available here and along with barrack...

  • Houssiere Wood

    Crash site

Events

Event Location Date
Assigned Sudbury, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10, UK 1944

Assigned to 833rd Bomb Squadron, 486th Bomb Group, 8th AF USAAF.

Crashed Houssière Wood, Braine-le-Comte, Belgium 28 May 1944 Р28 May 1944

Failed to Return (FTR) raid to Luztkendorf, Germany. Hit by Flak and abandoned, 5 x EVD, 5 x POW. 28-May-44. MACR 5390.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 September 2021 15:21:15 Emily Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations and media associations
Sources

Removed references to nickname being Mike-Spirit of LSU as unlikely to be accurate. The captured aircraft report in MACR 5390 described the wreckage of the aircraft as having a 4N squadron code (833rd Bomb Squadron), which indicates the aircraft was assigned to a different squadron to Sanders. furthermore 486th.org states that Sanders only flew this aircraft on one occasion, making it unlikely he had the opportunity to alter it's markings or change squadron before it crashed. The association of this aircraft with the Spirit of LSU nickname appears to have originated from a piece of of aviation art made in 1994 by Glenn Core, which features a number of factual inaccuracies, notably that both aircraft depicted in the painting wear the same 3R-K squadron code, and that the nose art is based off a 1973 etching by the same artist, and as such cannot be considered a reliable source of this aircraft's appearance.

Information about the recovery of this aircraft from 486th.org

Date Contributor Update
29 April 2016 09:40:04 Al_Skiff Changes to description
Sources

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=42-52764&Submit6=Go
https://www.fold3.com/image/28651315
Mike the Tiger: The Roar of LSU By David G. Baker, W. Sheldon Bivin, C. C. Lockwood

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2016 17:08:44 Al_Skiff Changes to description and events
Sources

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=42-52764&Submit6=Go
https://www.fold3.com/image/28651315
Mike the Tiger: The Roar of LSU By David G. Baker, W. Sheldon Bivin, C. C. Lockwood

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2016 14:54:11 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=42-52764&Submit6=Go
https://www.fold3.com/image/28651315
Mike the Tiger: The Roar of LSU By David G. Baker, W. Sheldon Bivin, C. C. Lockwood

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:55 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 5390 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share