41-23778 - Jenny - Lady Luck

Object Number - UPL 14042 - The B-24D Liberator, 41-23778, first named, Jenny, was assigned to the 66th Bomb Squadron, the 44th Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force, in the U.K....

The B-24D Liberator bomber, 41-23778, was, first, named, Jenny. when it was in the 8th Air Force, the 44th Bomb Group, and the 66th Bombing Squadron in Britain, in 1942. It was temporarily detached (TDY) to the 9th Air Force and sent to Benghazi, Libya, in North Africa, for Operation Tidal Wave, the August 1, 1943, Ploesti oil refinery mission. Lt. Rocco Curelli renamed, 41-23778, Lady Luck, after he and his crew flew it on Operation Tidal Wave over Ploesti, after Lt. Curelli and all of his crew returned safely to Benghazi, Libya. 10 RTB. 1 Aug 1943.

Sadly, on 16 Oct 43, after surviving the dangerous mission to Ploesti, Lt. Curelli and his crew flew, Lady Luck, on a mission, over the German airfields at Foggia, Italy, and were shot down by enemy fighters near Ruoti, Italy. Curelli and the aircraft Failed To Return (FTR) - Lost on the mission over the enemy airfields, at Foggia, while still on TDY to the 9th Air Force. Pilot Rocco A. Curelli, and all but one of his crew, his Radio Operator, Lt. Wesley Zimmerman, were killed in action (KIA), and the plane was lost on this mission. Lt. Wesley Zimmerman later escaped from captivity and returned to his Bomb Group. (POW-ITA-RTD). 9 KIA. 1 POW-ITA-RTD. 16 Oct 43. MACR 2141-3150.

Members of the Curelli crew on the B-24D, Lady Luck, 41-23778

2Lt. Rocco A. Curelli, Pilot, KIA.
2Lt. John Gust Papadopulos, Co-Pilot, KIA.
2Lt. Walter Rossi, Jr., Navigator, KIA.
Victor T. Torrou, Bombardier, KIA.
TSgt. John H. Grinde, Engineer, KIA.
SSgt. Wesley Lee Zimmerman, Radio Operator, POW.
SSgt. Deforest L. Ela, Radio Operator/Gunner, KIA.
SSgt. Raymond Clifford Shafer, Engineer/Gunner, KIA.
SSgt. John R. Hughes, Waist Gunner, KIA.
SSgt. Harper Filer Zoller, Jr. Tail Gunner, KIA.

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: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 66th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15103072
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator;Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 66th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36365248
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 66th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator; Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 66th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 11062939 / O-670981
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 66th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 31157299
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator

Places

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: - Lady Luck
  • Unit: 446th Bomb Group 704th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Lady Luck - Elmer
  • Unit: 458th Bomb Group 754th Bomb Squadron

Events

Event Location Date Description

Other

Failed to Return (FTR)

85056 Ruoti PZ, Italy 1943-08-16 Failed to Return - Lost on attack on Foggia airfields while on TDY to the 9th Air Force. Pilot Rocco A. Curelli and all but one crewmen were KIA. 9 KIA, 1 POW-RTS. A/C shot down by enemy fighters near Ruoti, Italy, 16 Aug 1943. MACR 2141-3150.

Assigned

Benghzi, Libya 1943-08-01 Temporary detached to the 9th Air Force for the Ploesti oil refinery mission. Returned safely to Libya. RTB. Renamed, Lady Luck. 1 Aug 43.

Manufactured

willow run, Ypsilanti, ME Built by Consolidated.

Revisions

Date2 Feb 2022 09:33:54
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Added aircraft to connections. - Kickapoo

Date30 Jan 2022 05:28:36
ContributorKickapoo
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Details added. - Kickapoo

Date29 Jan 2022 08:24:31
ContributorKickapoo
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Additional facts and places. - Kickapoo

Date29 Jan 2022 08:03:01
ContributorKickapoo
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Detail changes added. - Kickapoo

Date29 Jan 2022 07:28:28
ContributorKickapoo
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Details added. - Kickapoo

Date8 Jan 2022 08:30:37
ContributorKickapoo
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Added Details. - Kickapoo

Date8 Jan 2022 08:28:27
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24 - 41-123778 - Lady Luck - Jenny

Date5 Jan 2022 11:07:22
ContributorKickapoo
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Details added. - Kickapoo

Date5 Jan 2022 10:46:39
ContributorKickapoo
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Details added. - Kickapoo

Date5 Jan 2022 10:43:23
ContributorKickapoo
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Details added. - Kickapoo

Date4 Jan 2022 19:42:57
ContributorKickapoo
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Detail changes. - Kickapoo

Date4 Jan 2022 07:15:10
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24D - 41-12778 - Jenny - Lady Luck

Date3 Jan 2022 23:13:14
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24D - 41-23778 - Jenny - Lady luck

Date3 Jan 2022 13:22:27
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24D - 41-23778 - Jenny - Lady Luck

Date3 Jan 2022 04:56:00
ContributorKickapoo
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Find-A-Grave Memorials - Wesley Lee Zimmerman

Date3 Jan 2022 04:45:32
ContributorKickapoo
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Find-A-Grave Memorials - TSgt. John H. Grinde

Date3 Jan 2022 04:38:36
ContributorKickapoo
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Find-A-Grave memorials - TSgt. John H. Grinde

Date21 Aug 2021 04:20:34
ContributorKickapoo
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Bomb Squadron - Kickapoo

Date21 Aug 2021 04:16:14
ContributorKickapoo
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Places change. - Kickapoo

Date21 Aug 2021 04:13:20
ContributorKickapoo
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Places addition - Kickapoo

Date21 Aug 2021 04:10:02
ContributorKickapoo
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Bomb Squadron number change. - Kickapoo

Date21 Aug 2021 03:51:00
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24 - 41-23778 - Jenny - Lucky Lady

Date21 Aug 2021 03:44:58
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24 - 41-23778 - Jenny - Lucky lady

Date21 Aug 2021 03:37:38
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24 - 41-23778 - Jenny - Lucky Lady

Date21 Aug 2021 03:09:45
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24 - 41-23778 - Jenny - Lady Luck

Date20 Aug 2021 16:54:51
ContributorKickapoo
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Name spelling - Kickapoo

Date20 Aug 2021 16:43:45
ContributorKickapoo
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Best Web - B-24 - Lady Luck

Date3 Mar 2021 20:40:06
ContributorKickapoo
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B-24 - Best Web - #41-23778 - 'Jenny' - 'Lady Luck'

Date22 Feb 2021 01:53:47
ContributorKickapoo
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B-24 - Best Web - 'Lady luck' - SN # 41-23778

Date22 Feb 2021 01:10:12
ContributorKickapoo
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B-24 - Best Web - 'Lady luck' - SN # 41-23778

Date22 Feb 2021 01:04:03
ContributorKickapoo
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B-24 - Best Web - 'Lady luck' - SN # 41-23778

Date9 Dec 2020 12:16:30
ContributorKickapoo
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44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties

Date9 Dec 2020 12:12:52
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties

Date9 Dec 2020 12:04:03
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties

Date12 Feb 2020 15:06:43
Date22 Mar 2015 17:03:41
ContributorAl_Skiff
Date22 Mar 2015 16:58:47
ContributorAl_Skiff
Date27 Sep 2014 18:40:01
ContributorAAM
Sources

MACR 3150 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

41-23778: Gallery (5 items)