42-40364 - The Pink Elephant - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Object Number - UPL 13728 - B-24D, 42-40364, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, of the 343rd Bomb Squadron, the 98th Bomb Group, in the 9th Air Force. Lost on the Ploesti oil...

The B-24D, The Pink Elephant, 42-40364, was in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, "The Pyramiders", and the 343rd Bomb Squadron. First named, The Pink Elephant, 42-40364, was the second B-24D, that was later renamed, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The first B-24D, named, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was the aircraft, 41-11913. After both airplanes were renamed, they both had the same name and stunning nose art, a picture of Walt Disney's "Snow White" and the ship's names in large letters: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" on their forward nose sections. In both of the nose art pictures of, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Snow White held a wand with stars on the tips of the wand. Each star on the wand depicted 2 missions of the bomber completed.

Pilot Capt. James Gunn, his crew, and, The Pink Elephant, 42-40364, with the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 343rd Bomb Squadron, was dispatched to North Africa and left the United States July, 1942, and flew to South America, to the Gold Coast, then, across the Atlantic ocean to Egypt, and was based near Haifa, Egypt. The aircraft's first mission was on Aug 14, 1942, starting combat operations on May 13, 1943, in the MTO, flying out of Benghazi, Libya.

The, Pink Elephant, was flown by Capt. James A. Gunn, Jr, on Operation Tidal Wave, the low level bombing mission to Ploesti, Romania. The aircraft was shot down and lost on the mission. It was shot down near the Yugoslavian / Bulgarian border by enemy fighters during it's withdrawal from the target in the same action that downed, The Witch, 41-11840, flown by Lt. Julian Darlington. The Pink Elephant's pilot, Capt. James A. Gunn, Jr. and his crew, failed to return - FTR - and were killed in action. 10 KIA. Aug 1,1943. MACR 165
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Crew of, The Pink Elephant, over Ploesti :

Capt. James Gunn, Jr. - Pilot (KIA) -
2nd Lt. Richard C. Williamson - Copilot (KIA -
1st Lt. Bernard E. Leimbach - Navigator (KIA)
2nd Lt. Robert C. Courtney - Bombardier (KIA)
T/Sgt. Edwin L. Turner - Engineer - Top Turret Gunner (KIA)
T/Sgt. Delmar E. Smith - Radio Operator (KIA)
S/Sgt. Frederick L. Stukey - Waist Gunner (KIA)
S/Sgt. Charles R. Ruark - Waist Gunner (KIA)
S/Sgt. Stanley M. Horine, Jr. - Tail Gunner (POW)

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 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 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19032952 / O-736686
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 11037168 / O-791098
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19100012
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15096200 / O-730276
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16098271
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Gunner

Places

  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Soluch Airfield
  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Berka, al Birkah

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: - The Witch
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - The Pink Elephant - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron

Events

Event Location Date Description

Assigned

Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF.

Crashed

FTR Failed to Return

Bulgaria 1943-08-01 Failed to Return (FTR) - Lost during the low-level mission to bomb the oil refineries in Ploesti, Rumania on August 1,1943. She was jumped by fighters while leaving the target and shot down with only the tail gunner, S/Sgt. Stanley Horine, surviving. MACR 165

Revisions

Date16 May 2022 09:48:58
ContributorAl_Skiff
Date18 Mar 2022 09:20:02
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Details added. - Kickapoo

Date1 Feb 2022 06:07:46
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40364 - The Pink Elephant

Date11 Sep 2021 19:47:25
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - 42-40364 - Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs - Pink Elephant

Date11 Sep 2021 19:39:48
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Added details. - Kickapoo

Date11 Sep 2021 18:47:50
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Additions to text. - Kickapoo

Date11 Sep 2021 18:44:18
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Change of rank - Kickapoo

Date11 Sep 2021 18:39:10
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Added crew members to list. - Kickapoo

Date11 Sep 2021 18:37:01
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Added crew members. - Kickapoo

Date11 Sep 2021 18:32:43
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40364 - The Pink Elephant - Snow White And The Seven dwarfs

Date28 Aug 2021 05:12:22
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Added Lt. James A. Gunn to crew list - Kickapoo

Date28 Aug 2021 04:44:40
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40364 - The Pink Elephant - Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs

Date1 Apr 2021 18:19:58
ContributorAl_Skiff
Date1 Apr 2021 07:49:51
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'The Pink Elephant'

Date30 Mar 2021 11:52:35
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'The Pink Elephant'

Date30 Mar 2021 11:48:02
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'The Pink Elephant'

Date30 Mar 2021 11:39:44
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'The Pink Elephant'

Date30 Mar 2021 11:13:36
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - #42-40364

Date30 Mar 2021 10:55:03
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - #42-40364

Date30 Mar 2021 10:52:32
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - #42-40364

Date30 Mar 2021 08:39:26
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - ' Snow White '

Date30 Mar 2021 08:25:01
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - ' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs '

Date22 Feb 2018 00:58:18
Contributordecwriter
Sources

Corrected to Stanley M. Horine, Jr. per movement order.

Date9 Feb 2018 01:58:27
Contributordecwriter
Sources

Charles R. Ruark was listed as Roark, so the biography listing is correct now.

Date7 Feb 2018 11:49:41
ContributorLucy May
Date21 Nov 2016 04:44:31
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

"Air Stories of the 12th & 15th Air Forces" - Gerard Paloque

Date13 Mar 2015 14:06:49
ContributorAl_Skiff

42-40364: Gallery (5 items)