41-11819 - Raunchy

Object Number - UPL 13734 - The B-24D, Liberator, 41-11819, Raunchy, in the 344th Bombardment Squadron, in the 98th Bombardment Group, and the 9th Air Force. Crashed and...

The B-24D Liberator, Raunchy, 41-11819, was in the 344th Bomb Squadron, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 9th Air Force, based at Benghazi, Libya, North Africa, in early 1943.

Raunchy, was flown by Lt. Sam Neeley, in Flight 1, of the B-24Ds in the 98th Bomb Group's planes on Operation Tidal Wave, over Ploesti, Romania. Raunchy, was destroyed, and 8 of it's crew, including Pilot Lt. Sam Neeley and his copilot, Lt. Herman Henslee, were killed in action. KIA, with 2 exceptions, the plane's radio operator, Sgt. William Schiffmacher and waist gunner, Nick Allen, both of whom survived the airplane's crash, though badly burned, and were captured - 2 WIA-POW. Operation Tidal Wave, the mission to destroy the German held oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, was one of the most daring and desperate bombing missions of WW II. The 98th Bomb Group took 67 percent casualties over their refinery targets. Lt. Samuel Neely, close friends with both Col. John Kane and Lt. John Young, who were flying the Element Lead B-24D, Hail Columbia, off to Neeley's right side, in the center of Flight 1, was one the one hundred, or so, airmen killed on the Ploesti mission. Raunchy : 8 KIA - 2 WIA-POW. 1 Aug 1943

Lt. Neeley, and his crew, flew in Flight 1, the 1st wave (Flight 1) of the 98th Bomb Group's bombers attacking White IV. Command Pilot Lt. Neeley was flying at tree top level on the far left side of Flight 1. Raunchy, had already been heavily hit by the AA flak guns when the plane flew into a smoke column and hit a barrage balloon cable immediately after his bomb release. One of Raunchy's wings struck, but did not break the cable, and pulled down an explosive charge attached to it's cable, onto the airplane's wing. The explosive charge detonated when it hit the wing, partially folding it and sending the bomber crashing down to the ground, killing Lt. Neeley and most of his crew, who died instantly. Somehow, and by some kind of miracle, Sam Neely's radio operator, Lt. Bill Shiffmacher, and one of Neeley's waist gunners, Sgt. Nick Allen, were badly burned, but survived the crash and were rescued to became POWs at Ploesti. Most of the dead crew members' remains were never found, recovered, or identified because of the extensive fire having totally burned up, Raunchy, the airplane, and the crewmen inside. 1 Aug 1943. MACR 169.
B-24D, Raunchy - 41-11819 - Lost on the low level mission to Ploesti, Romania, and Failed To Return (FTR). Lt. Sam Neeley hit a barrage balloon cable over his target, White IV, and was impacted by an explosive charge attached to the balloon cable, which exploded and partially blew, Raunchy's, wing off, crashing the plane flying from an altitude of 150 feet. Raunchy, crashed into a field killing Lt. Neeley, Copilot Lt. Herman Henslee, and most of the rest of his crew in the crash and fire, except two. The only two survivors of the crash were the radio operator, SSgt. William W. Schiffmacher and waist gunner, SSgt. Nick Allen, who both survived the crash, along with the other Americans taken prisoners.

B-24D Raunchy's Crew Over Ploesti:

1st Lt. Samuel R. Neeley - Pilot - KIA
2nd Lt. Herman H. Henslee - Copilot - KIA
1st Lt. Joel I. Corn - Navigator - KIA
2nd Lt. Eugene L. Rodgen - Bombardier - KIA
TSgt. Karl T. Edelen - Engineer/Top Turret Gunner - KIA
SSgt. Robert P. Schultz - Gunner - KIA
SSgt. William W. Schiffmacher - Radio Operator - WIA-POW
SSgt. Alfred D. Cason - Gunner - KIA
Sgt. Nick A. Allen - Gunner - WIA-POW

- Note : The surviving Ploesti airmen prisoners in Romania were rescued by U.S. Army and U.S. Army Air Corps personnel and were flown out of Romania, and back to safety, some months later, in a special operation (Operation Gunn) by U.S. Army Air Force B-17s sent to rescue them from the approaching Russian army. 31 Aug 1944.

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

  • Unit Hierarchy: Squadron
  • Air Force: Ninth Air Force Twelfth Air Force Fifteenth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Ninth Air Force Twelfth Air Force Fifteenth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 14028237
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-661482
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: B-24D Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-29680
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Commanding Officer / Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16023226 / O-54160
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: - B-52 Bombardier

Places

  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Soluch Airfield

Missions

  • Date: 1 August 1943
  • Official Description: 177 B-24’s, of IX Bomber Command (including Heavy Bombers on loan from Eighth AF) are dispatched to bomb oil refineries at Ploesti and nearby Campina. The operation (TIDALWAVE) is costly, 54 planes and 532 airmen being lost, but damage to the targets...

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Kickapoo
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Raunchy
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Hail Columbia - Little Chief Big Dog - Grumpy
  • Unit: 376th Bomb Group 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Hadley's Harem
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - The Scorpion
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 565th Bomb Squadron

Events

Event Location Date Description

Other

FTR Failed To Return

1943-08-01 Lost on the Ploesti oil refinery bombing mission. Immediately after bomb release the A/C struck an AA barrage balloon cable with an attached explosive device, which, upon detonation, heavily damaged one of it's wings. 8 KIA, including Sam Neeley. 2 POW. The radio operator and a gunner survived the crash and became prisoners. 2 POW. Pilot Samuel R. Neeley KIA Ploesti. 1 Aug 43. MACR 169.

Assigned

In the 344th Bomb Squadron, the 98th Bomb Group, "The Pyramiders", in the 9th Air Force, "The Force For Freedom".

Revisions

Date15 May 2022 17:45:39
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

AAM Database.

Date20 Mar 2022 23:43:35
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Valor : Operation Gunn - Air Force Magazine

Date20 Mar 2022 23:40:25
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Valor : Operation Gunn - Air Force Magazine

Date20 Mar 2022 23:29:03
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Into The Fire - Duane Schultz - p. 151, 152, 225.

Date20 Mar 2022 23:04:09
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Into The Fire - Duane Schultz - p. 151, 152, 225.

Date11 Mar 2022 20:45:41
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Into The Fire-Ploesti - Duane Schultz ----- Black Sunday-Ploesti - Michael Hill

Date24 Jan 2022 09:59:08
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Details added, spelling, word spacing changes. - Kickapoo

Date19 Dec 2021 22:31:29
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - Raunchy

Date11 Oct 2021 09:08:50
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Added details. - Kickapoo

Date10 Sep 2021 22:02:05
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Revised "Markings". - Kickapoo

Date19 Aug 2021 11:49:57
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

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

Date19 Aug 2021 11:44:32
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Details and wording additions. - Kickapoo

Date19 Aug 2021 11:35:26
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Word changes and additions. - Kickapoo

Date19 Aug 2021 11:28:55
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Word additions and changes. - Kickapoo

Date19 Aug 2021 11:05:48
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Spelling, word spacing. - Kickapoo

Date17 Aug 2021 13:07:35
ContributorEmily
Sources

Changed all instances of aircraft name into sentence case to as per best practice for accessibility.

Date16 Aug 2021 21:31:07
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Detail, wording, and spacing changes for clarity and accuracy - Kickapoo

Date14 Aug 2021 10:33:47
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Details, wording, and spelling changes. - Kickapoo

Date11 Jun 2021 15:52:20
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Wording changes for clarity - John S Young Jr

Date7 Jun 2021 14:24:42
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Spelling corrected in biography - John S Young Jr

Date7 Jun 2021 14:20:18
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Punctuation changed for clarity - John S Young Jr

Date7 Jun 2021 14:18:10
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Wording and punctuation altered for clarity - John S Young Jr

Date6 Jun 2021 18:39:20
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Puctuation for clarity.

Date6 Jun 2021 18:37:01
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

American Air museum In Britain

Date6 Jun 2021 17:07:50
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'Raunchy'

Date6 Jun 2021 17:06:11
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill The Great Ground-Air battle Of 1 August 1943 - James Dugan & Carroll Stewart Best Web - B-24 - 'Raunchy'

Date18 May 2021 19:24:26
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date2 Feb 2021 03:50:07
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Into The Fire - Duane Schultz

Date2 Feb 2021 03:48:18
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

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

Date2 Feb 2021 03:44:48
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

The Great Ground-Air Battle Of 1 August 1943 - James Dugan & Carroll Stewart ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date2 Feb 2021 03:41:45
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

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

Date2 Feb 2021 03:39:40
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

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

Date2 Feb 2021 03:34:41
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date2 Feb 2021 03:31:28
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date2 Feb 2021 03:29:45
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date15 Dec 2020 12:10:59
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date2 Dec 2020 10:27:14
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

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

Date17 Oct 2020 14:06:38
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday -- Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire -- Duane Schultz

Date17 Oct 2020 14:04:01
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday -- Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire -- Duane Schultz

Date17 Oct 2020 13:55:29
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday -- Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire -- Duane Schultz

Date21 Nov 2016 04:46:16
Contributor466thHistorian
Date13 Mar 2015 16:58:03
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

AAM Database.

41-11819: Gallery (4 items)