B-24D - 'The Vulgar Virgin' - #42-40608 - 8th Air Force - 93rd Bomb Group, and the 328th Bomb Squadron from Great Britain, brought down to Benghazi, Libya, for operations in the MTO, including Operation Tidal Wave. Lt. James Marquis, navigator, standing on the left. 1943
Second Lieutenant James E. Marquis, Navigator, 93rd Bomb Group, 328th Bomb Squadron.
The B-24D - 42-40608 - THE VULGAR VIRGIN - in the 8th Air Force, the 93rd Bomb Group, and the 328th Bomb Squadron, was flown by Lt. Claude A Turner on the famous mission to destroy the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. THE VULGAR VIRGIN was hit by flak over his target at Ploesti and Lt. Turner knew he could not make it home to Benghazi, Libya. After asking his crew on the intercom what their preferences were, he set a course to Turkey and landed at Chorlu and had his plane and crew interned by the Turkish Air Force. After he and his bombardier escaped from the Turks, they returned to Britain and the 8th Air Force. Later, after returning to Britain, flying the B-24D bomber, BIRMINGHAM BLITZ, Turner and crew were killed - KIA - shot down by an FW-190 fighter over the North Sea after a bombing mission to Bremen, Germany - Missing In Action - MIA - Feb 13, 1943 - Later listed as Killed In Action - KIA - Feb 14, 1943.
James E. Marquis was born on February 6, 1922. After completing his flight training in the U.S. Lt. James E. Marquis, was assigned to the 8th Air Force, the 93rd Bomb Group, and the 328th Bomb Squadron in Britain. He was the navigator on his B-24D Liberator bomber, 42-40608, the 'Vulgar Virgin' with his pilot, Lt. Claude A. Turner, and flew on a number of missions in the MTO area after arriving in North Africa and being temporarily transferred, TDY, to the 9th Air Force at Benghazi, Libya. He flew with his pilot, Lt. Turner, on the 'Vulgar Virgin', on Operation Tidal Wave, the large mission to destroy the German held oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. On the Ploesti mission, on his approach to his target, "White IV", Turner's B-24 took two direct hits by flak. Knowing he could not fly his crippled ship all the way home, Turner decided to fly south to Chorlu, Turkey, where he landed safely, and where his bomber, and his crew, including Lt. James Marquis, were interned by the Turkish Air Force. August 1, 1943.
- Interned in Turkey on Ploesti raid in B-2D, 42-40608, 'Vulgar Virgin' - Later, Turner and Marquis escaped from Turkish captivity and returned to duty in England.
James Marquis was on TDY to the 9th Air Force and the 98th Bomber Group and the 343rd Bomb Squadron during Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania on 1 August 1943. Lt. Marquis earned the Distinguished Flying Cross on that mission.
He retired from the USAF as a Lt. Colonel in 1960.
Awards: the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the WWII Victory Medal, and the European - African - Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 battle stars.
James Marquis died on November 10, 1994
Military | First Lieutenant | B-24 Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
Lt. Claude A. Turner was born in Travis Peak, Texas, on Oct 22, 1919. He trained as an aviation pilot at Kelly Field and other air bases in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. After receiving his pilot's wings, Turner was assigned to the 8th Air Force,...
Units served with
Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945.
93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...
The B-24D, 42-40608, should not to be confused with Capt. Wallace C. Taylor's B-24D Liberator, 41-24298, also named, The Vulgar Virgin, in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, The Pyramiders, and the 344th Bomb Squadron, flown out of Lete Air Base...
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...
||6 February 1922
||Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, USA
||15 October 1940
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
||1943 – 1944
Assigned to 328BS, 93BG, 8AF USAAF.
|Force landed and Interned
||Çorlu, Tekirdağ, Turkey
||1 August 1943
||10 November 1994