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Command Pilot Pete Hughes' and Copilot Ronald Lee Helder's B-24D, 42-40753, that Lt. Helder called, Ole Kickapoo. SN, 42-40753, crashed & burned at the Prahova dry riverbed valley at Campina, Romania, after flying through a wall of flames approaching their target refinery at Campina, Romania. The two pilots, Lt. Hughes, Lt. Helder, and all but two of their crew, were killed in action ( KIA) in this crash on Operation Tidal Wave. For his actions on the Ploesti mission, Lloyd Hughes was awarded the nation's highest honor, The Congressional Medal of Honor, posthumously. For his actions on the mission, Lt. Ronald Helder was awarded the nation's second highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, also posthumously, for his own valor, sacrifice and absolute determination to attack and bomb his target refinery at Campina, Romania, without any consideration for his own life and safety. August 1, 1942.



  • 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...

  • 564th Bomb Squadron


  • Philip Ardery

    Military | Major General | Pilot
    Silver Star/ 2 DFCs/ 4 Air Medals/ Croix de Guerre. ...

  • Jack Dieterle

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | B-24 Command Pilot
    After completing his training as a bomber pilot at Biggs Field in Texas, Major Jack Deiterle's 566th Bomb Squadron in the 389th Bomb Group, was established at Hethel Field in Norwich early in 1943. Dieterle was a command pilot on the B-24D, The Little...

  • Ronald Helder

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24D Co-Pilot
    2nd Lt. Ronald Lee Helder was a B-24 pilot in the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bomb Group, and the 564th Bombing Squadron in WWII. He flew as Co-pilot with his friend, Command Pilot Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes, in the B-24D Lt. Helder called, Ole Kickapoo,...

  • 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...


  • 42-40753

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, 42-40753, was a Consolidated B-24D bomber from the 389th Bombardment Group, of the 8th Air Force, and the 564th Bomb Squadron from England. It's Command Pilot on Operation Tidal Wave, was 2nd Lt. Lloyd Hughes, and his crew. They flew on...


  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...


  • Berca

    Military site : airfield


Date Contributor Update
10 October 2021 06:50:18 Kickapoo Changes to caption and place associations

Details added. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2021 09:25:50 Kickapoo Changes to caption

Minor spelling, punctuation. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2021 09:17:19 Kickapoo Changes to caption

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2021 08:51:19 Kickapoo Changes to caption, unit associations and person associations

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2020 11:15:28 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations and aircraft associations

Removed associations of people and aircraft that are not depicted in the image. Associations to be made in the AIRCRAFT record.

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2020 10:15:36 Kickapoo Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Ploesti The Great Ground-Air Battle of 1 August 1943 - James Dugan & Carroll Stewart Bomber Pilot - Gen. Philip Ardery