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2nd Lt. John Clark Riley from the 8th Air Force, and the 93rd Bomb Group was assigned to fly as a replacement copilot with his command pilot, Lt. Robert Nespor, in John Young's regular airplane, Kickapoo, for the large Ploesti mission. Kickapoo suffered a catastrophic failure of it's number 4 engine on takeoff for the mission and crashed in flames, killing Lt. Nespor, John Riley, and all but two of their replacement crew - killed in action, 8 KIA, 2 WIA - RTS. They were the first of over three hundred casualties on Operation Tidal Wave, before the mission had even started. August 1, 1943.



  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    The 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1 Mar 42 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15 May 42. the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida, to continue advanced flight training and also to fly antisubmarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico. They...


  • John Riley

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24 Co-Pilot
    2nd Lt. John Clark Riley was a B-24D pilot in the 9th Air Force, the 93rd Bomb Group, and the 330th Bomb Squadron at Benghazi, Libya, in the Mediterranean theatre (MTO) during WWII. Lt. Riley and his command Pilot Robert Nespor from the 98th Bomb...

  • John Young

    Military | Major | B-24 Command Pilot
    Lt. John S. Young was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Bored with college at SMU in Dallas, and knowing the country was headed for war, he joined the Army Air Force early in 1941 and began training as an aviation cadet. He was known as "Johnny" and ...


  • 41-11768 Kickapoo

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, 41-11768, named, Kickapoo, was Lt. John S. Young's regularly assigned B-24D, after his Bombardment Group moved out of Egypt, to the air bases at Benghazi, Libya. John Young was from Dallas, like so many of the men in the 98th...


  • Lete

    Military site : airfield


Date Contributor Update
05 September 2021 11:26:35 Kickapoo Changes to caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2021 17:39:52 Al_Skiff Created entry with caption, unit associations and person associations

USAAF Photo.