Robert Lee Wright

Military

Object Number - UPL 15310 - B-24 Liberator, 42-40746, Ole Irish, and crew. Flew on the Ploesti oil refinery raid, returning to Benghazi, Libya, on three engines. Lt. Robert...

Lt. Robert Lee Wright took part in Operation Tidal Wave, on Ploesti, Romania, flying the B-24D Liberator 42-40776, Old Blister Butt with his Copilot Lt. Fred Sayre. Upon Leaving the target area at Campina, Lt. Wright and Old Blister Butt's crew saw their friends in the B-24D, Ole Irish, in trouble and limping away from the refinery area with one engine destroyed by flak. Lt. Wright made the decision to slow down and fly as cover for his buddies in, Ole Irish, and escorted them all the way to the Turkish coast and relative safety. Both planes, Ole Irish, and, Old Blister Butt, returned safely to Benghazi, Libya. 1 Aug 1943.

12 July 1943 TDY to 9th AF, B-24 42-40697 was hit by flak before target at Reggio Marshalling Yards. Diverted to recently captured area of Sicily crash landing NW of Pachino. Canadian unit transported them to a friendly base. Crew originally reported Missing in Action (MIA)

Connections

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Units served with

The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 564th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15045876 / 0-325990
  • Highest Rank: Major General
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 564th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-666292
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 98th Bomb Group 415th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35027471 / O-?
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: B-24D Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 98th Bomb Group 415th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 415th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32160105 / O-?
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Ole Irish
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 564th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Old Blister Butt - Widow
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 801st Bomb Group 93rd Bomb Group 328th Bomb Squadron 406th Bomb Squadron 564th Bomb Squadron 566th Bomb Squadron 858th Bomb Squadron 492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Miss Liberty
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 801st Bomb Group 564th Bomb Squadron 567th Bomb Squadron

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...

Places

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

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Fort Worth, Texas

Revisions

Date2 Jan 2022 14:07:42
Contributordecwriter
Sources

NARA files verified officer number, DFC with one Oak Leaf Cluster and AM with six Oak Leaf Clusters. His first DFC was earned on the low-level Ploesti Operation Tidal Wave mission and the second DFC was earned in 1944. He earned at least one bronze service star on the EAME Campaign Medal.

Date27 Sep 2021 05:29:03
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Added details. - Kickapoo

Date26 Sep 2021 19:54:44
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 42-40746 - Ole Irish

Date18 Oct 2019 14:08:03
Date23 Jan 2019 20:02:39
ContributorDieterle
Sources

From the photograph on this page.

Date23 Jan 2019 19:58:35
ContributorDieterle
Sources

Philip Ardery, Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky: 1978) 87-90.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:23:50
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey pp. 179-180 , 389th BG Roster

Robert Lee Wright: Gallery (4 items)