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B-24D - Command Pilot Lt Lloyd H. "Pete" Hughes from the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bomb Group the "Sky Scorpions" from England, flew his B-24, 'Oleon "Operation Tidal Wave" to destroy the German's oil refineries at Ploesti Romania. As Hughes approached his target refinery at low altitude, his B-24 took two direct flak hits in his left wing and in one of his auxiliary gas tanks in his bomb bay and began streaming gasoline out of his wing and his fuselage, but he continued on, determined to bomb his target, the Steaua Romano refinery near Campina, Ploesti. As he closed in to the target, Pete saw his path was blocked by a wall of fire from a refinery already having been bombed ahead of him, yet he made his decision to fly through the flames knowing very well they would set his own airplane on fire. With his plane on fire and failing, Hughes successfully bombed his target, and only then did he attempt to land and save his crew. As che attempted to landin a dry river, a wingtip hit the side of the riverbank and cartwheeled his plane, 'Ole Kickapoo' into a flaming fireball killing everyon but two gunners, who survived the crash. ~ 2nd Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his skill and determination to attack and bomb his target with no regard to his own life and safety. ~ KIA 1 Aug ,1943.



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...


  • Lloyd Hughes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24 Command Pilot
    Lloyd Herbert Hughes Jr., better known to his friends, as "Pete," flew his fifth mission, as pilot of a B-24D Liberator bomber in an attack against the Axis oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania. He was killed August 1, 1943 when his plane was severely...


Date Contributor Update
15 December 2020 14:43:42 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Removed associations not depicted in the image. Associated content should be added to the AIRCRAFT and/or PERSON records.

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2020 10:17:39 Kickapoo Changes to collection, unit associations, person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

John S Young Jr - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2020 01:24:56 Kickapoo Created entry with collection and caption

Ploesti The Great Ground-Air Battle of 1 August 1943 - James Dugan & Carroll Stewart