William Roderick Cameron

Military
A medical truck and ground personnel of the 44th Bomb Group on standby as a B-24 Liberator (V, serial number 41-23813) nicknamed "Victory Ship" returns from a mission. Image via Colonel William R Cameron.

Object Number - FRE 640 - A medical truck and ground personnel of the 44th Bomb Group on standby as a B-24D Liberator with the RCL, V, and the serial number 41-23813, named,...

Col. William R. Cameron took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the Ploesti bombing mission on 1 August 1943, flying the B-24D Liberator, 41-24229, named, Buzzin' Bear, and returned to base. 1 Aug 43.

He flew a total of 38 combat missions. He not only came over to England with the 8th Air Force and the 44th Bomb Group, but he was the only pilot to, then, go back home with them at the end of the war. "He was one of the best combat leaders we had." was a quote by Gen. Leon Johnson "He took his plane through the Ploesti inferno lower than most other pilots and got her home with only minor damage, originally earning the Silver Star for his part in the historic raid". The Silver Star was deleted in 9th Air Force General Orders on 25 February, 1944 which was the day after his Silver Star was upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross, on 24 February, 1944.

He married General Joseph Stillwell's daughter.

His many military medals included, The Distinguished Service Cross, The Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, and The Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Connections

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Units served with

The 'semiofficial' insignia of the 44th Bomb Group.
  • 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 67th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: T-190739
  • Highest Rank: Flight Officer
  • Role/Job: Navigator/Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 67th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-727322
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 67th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-665729
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Buzzin Bear - Seeds of Satan - Miss Delores
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 67th 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...

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Hanford, California

Enlisted

1942-01-05 Enlisted Fresno, CA as Aviation Cadet.

Revisions

Date16 Oct 2021 09:54:14
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploesti - Michael Hill

Date20 Aug 2021 13:23:00
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date22 Mar 2021 03:47:48
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - # 41-24229

Date22 Mar 2021 03:46:31
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - # 41-24229

Date22 Mar 2021 03:43:44
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - # 41-24229

Date22 Mar 2021 03:40:40
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - # 41-24229

Date22 Mar 2021 03:35:22
ContributorKickapoo
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - # 41-24229

Date22 Sep 2020 23:53:09
Contributordecwriter
Sources

NARA files verified DSC upgrade from SS, deletion of SS in General Orders, DFC w/1 oak leaf cluster and AM w/3 oak leaf clusters. He earned at least one bronze star on the EAME Campaign Medal.

Date22 Sep 2020 22:09:41
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added the awards mentioned in the "Summary biography".

Date22 Sep 2020 22:07:27
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added punctuation to the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date31 Jan 2020 12:25:38
Date27 Sep 2014 18:28:36
ContributorAAM
Sources

'Ploesti' by Dugan & Stewart & p224 in the book SECOND AIR DIVISION edited by Randy Baumgardner, D790.A2S45 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

William Roderick Cameron: Gallery (15 items)