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John Knox Winchester


Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 Liberator 41-23778. 33 x combat missions. ETD

Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

In Memoriam



  • Robert Felber

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 Liberator 41-23778 'Lady Luck'. 25 x combat missions. Moved up to Group Operations. ETD. Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

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Units served with

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 66th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-23778 - Jenny - Lady Luck

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator bomber, 41-23778, was, first, named, Jenny. when it was in the 8th Air Force, the 44th Bomb Group, and the 66th Bombing Squadron in Britain, in 1942. It was temporarily detached (TDY) to the 9th Air Force and sent to Benghazi, Libya...

  • 42-40973 'Battleaxe'

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 #42-40973 "Battleaxe" 415th BS, 98th BG, 9th AF, flew 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Charles A Sayler, returning safely to Libya. ...

  • 42-95021 San Antonio Rose

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-99967 Myrtle The Fertile Turtle

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 66BS, transferred to 67BS, transferred to 506BS all with 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down Mar 44.


  • 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...

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...


Event Location Date
Born Clayton, NM 4 April 1919

Son of John C and Frances Alice [Knox] Winchester.

Enlisted Santa Fe, NM 3 February 1941

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Based Shipdham 1943 – 1944

Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF.

Marriage Meade, KS 19 August 1944

Married Loreta Botkin.

Died Clayton, NM 6 January 1968
Buried Clayton Cemetery Clayton, Union County, NM 10 January 1968

Clayton Cemetery
Union County, New Mexico


Date Contributor Update
24 December 2020 21:36:51 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, highest rank, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
12 February 2020 15:13:10 general ira snapsorter Changes to highest rank, role, biography, memoriam, aircraft associations and mission associations

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 44th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:21 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /