Royden Louis LeBrecht

Military

Object Number - UPL 14396 - Pilot Lt. Royden LeBrecht with the nose art and name of his B-24D Liberator bomber, # 4111761 - 'The Squaw' - formerly named, 'Sleepy', from...

Lt. Royden Louis LeBrecht was a B-24D command pilot in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bomb Squadron. He flew his B-24D, he named, The Squaw, on Operation Tidal Wave, the large mission to destroy the German held oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. August 1,1943. He was good friends with most of the the pilots flying alongside him in the 344th Bomb Squadron and on Flight One of the 98th Bomb Group's airplanes flying to Ploesti, including, Lt. John Young, Lt. Robert Nespor, KIA, killed on takeoff to Ploesti, and Pilot Sam Neeley, KIA, killed over the target at Ploesti, all pilots in the 98th Bomb Group's 344th Bombardment Squadron.

Lt. LeBrecht's assigned bomber was the B-24D, SN 41-11761, that he named, The Squaw. On the Ploesti mission, LeBrecht flew in the right side of the first line of the line abreast, "V" formation of the 98th Bomb Group's Flight One. After bombing his target at Ploesti and escaping south from the Ploesti refinery area with very little damage to his plane, 'The Squaw', Lt. LeBrecht decided to stay with and provide cover for his friends in the smoking, shot up B-24 stragglers, and joined up with Col. John Kane and his damaged B-24D, Hail Columbia, Lt. "Gib" Hadley, who was KIA, killed later, trying to ditch his shot up B-24D, Hadley's Harem, just off of the Turkish coast. They had all diverted and followed John Kane's, Hail Columbia, as his navigator, Norman, "The Baron", Whalen from set a course across Turkey to the British airfield at Nicosia, Cyprus, as did many other crippled B-24 bombers escaping Ploesti.

After the mission, Lt. LeBrecht and his crew returned to USA for war bonds tour in his airplane, 41-11761, The Squaw, with Lt. John S.Young and his crew, who flew the B-24D, The Blue Streak, and Major Walter Stewart and his crew, flying the B-24, Bomerang, back to Fort Worth, Texas, for their war bond tour. 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
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • 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: 389th Bomb Group 564th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37038892 / O-740807
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: B-24D Co-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: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-29680
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Commanding Officer / Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Sleepy, The Squaw
  • Unit: 93rd Bomb Group 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron
  • 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: - The Vulgar Virgin - Hell From Heaven - Shoot Youre Faded
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th 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

Denison, TX, USA 1919-04-21 21-Apr-19 Royden Louis Lebrecht born in Denison, Texas. He is son of Louis H. and Myrtle Azola Walton Lebrecht. [Source: City of Denison birth records]Dennison, Texas, USA.

Other

Survived Ploesti

Ploiești, Romania 1943-08-01 Pilot B-24 41-11761 'The Squaw' flew on the 1st Aug 43 Ploesti raid, diverted to Cypress.

Other

Assigned

Benghazi, Libya 343rd Bomb Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force.

Other

War Bonds Tour

Returned to Fort Worth, TX, USA for war bonds tour with A/C.

Died

Tucson, AZ 2003-07-28

Enlisted

Dallas, TX 1941-11-10 Dallas, Texas

Revisions

Date17 Jan 2022 14:49:47
Contributordecwriter
Sources

Corrected AM to reflect AM with six Oak Leaf Clusters per NARA files. Removed UNSM and added ADSM, ACM based on date of entry. He earned at least one bronze service star on the EAME Campaign Medal. Corrected spelling in bio entry.

Date3 Sep 2021 20:34:12
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Punctuation. - Kickapoo

Date16 May 2021 00:03:44
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'Bomerang'

Date6 May 2021 10:17:00
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'Bomerang'

Date6 May 2021 04:57:47
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-11761

Date6 May 2021 04:29:41
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-11761

Date26 Feb 2021 00:29:30
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Grayson County Texas - GenWeb Family - LeBrecht Family Chronology

Date24 Oct 2020 09:48:49
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Ploesti -- James Dugan & Carroll Stewart

Date24 Oct 2020 09:23:03
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Ploesti -- James Dugan & Carroll Stewart

Date24 Oct 2020 09:18:34
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Ploesti -- James Dugan & Carroll Stewart

Date24 Oct 2020 08:18:16
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date24 Oct 2020 07:05:12
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date24 Oct 2020 06:46:33
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date31 Mar 2015 18:56:01
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date31 Mar 2015 16:30:53
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date31 Mar 2015 16:06:01
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date31 Mar 2015 16:03:52
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Royden Louis LeBrecht: Gallery (12 items)