MSgt. Herbert F. Hastings, an aircraft mechanic in the 93rd Bomb Group, stands beside his B-24D Liberator, 41-24147, named, The Duchess. Image stamped on reverse: 'Keystone Press Agency Ltd.' Printed caption attached to the reverse: "283882" [Censor no]. 'AIR SER (LIBERATOR) ' [written annotation] '4/11/43 censor' [ written annotation]. "LIBERATOR'S TRAVELLING CIRCUS". "Travelling Circus" has become the nickname of the American B-24 Liberators on shuttle service. One day they may start from North African bases, strike at objectives in Northern Italy and land in Britain. Another day they may bomb Germany and fly to Sicily and refuel. A great striking power is combined with high mobility. The Liberators have to their credit such daring operations as the Ploesti Oil Refinery raid or Wiener Neustadt raid. This series of pictures shows the life of the "Travelling Circus", its Liberator bombers, flying men, and ground crews preparing and conducting operations, always swift in force and containing the element of surprise for the enemy. Keystone Photo shows:- MSgt. Herbert F. Hastings, of Loweaqua. Ill. near Decatur, who is one of the best crew chiefs in the U.S.A.A.F. Sgt. Hastings was crew chief on the ill-fated Liberator, Hot Freight, with a record of 12 missions without a turnback. He continued his good work on the B-24D, The Duchess, chalking up 22 more missions without a turnback. On one raid in particular he did a fast bit of work. The Duchess, was almost ready to take off when she developed a malfunction, necessitating changing the oil pressure lines, which Hastings did in the remarkable time of 10 minutes. Truly, the time worn expression, "Unsung Heroes" applies to men like Hastings. Their's is a job with no glory but great is the reward for their perseverance in putting the planes in the air. U.S.Pool/ F.Keystome 1.2. SG . 'Handwritten on reverse: '3/11/44.' Reference: "Mighty Eighth War Diary" By Roger A. Freeman. Page 133."
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