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Ben Kuroki


Crew member B-24 41-24105, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti raid, returning safely to Libya. Second generation Japanese. Finished war as one of most highly decorated sergeants in WW II. Believed to be only enlisted man to fight in three theaters (Western Europe, Mediterranean, Far East). Story was told in 'The Boy From Nebraska', 1946, by Ralph G. Martin. He flew 30 missions with the 8th AAF, 58 total with USAAF.



  • Jacob Epting

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Jacob Epting is listed as Jake Jr. in the US 1940 census and his Father as Jake. NARA’s WWII Enlistment records have him as Jacob. Jacob/Jake Jr graduated from Tupelo High School in 1938. After his enlistment in the Air Corps in early 1941, he trained...

  • Harold Kendall

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Harold Kendall was assigned to the 93rd Bomber Group / 409th Bomber Squadron and flew missions from England until the 93rd was temporarily assigned to fly out of North Africa in support of the Allied forces in that theater. On February 25, 1943, B-24...

  • Dell Kettering

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 93rd Bomb Group
    Dell Kettering was on board B-24 41-23740 of the 93rd Bomber Group / 409th Bomber Squadron when it was being ferried from Port Lyautey, French Morocco to England on 25 February 1943. Short of fuel, the pilot, Lt Jacob (Jake) B. Epting, had to crash...

  • Ples Norwood

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Ples Norwood was assigned to the 93rd Bomb Group / 409th Bomb Squadron. He was on B-24 "Red Ass" #41-23740 when it had to crash-land in Spanish Morocco on 25 February 1943, with Pilot Lt Jacob (Jake) Epting and 14 other passengers including Norwood....

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Units served with

  • 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. ...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    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...

  • 409th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24105 'Tupelo Lass'

    B-24 Liberator
    Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, returning safely to Libya. Salvaged after crashing at Hardwick 11th Dec 43 on return from Emden.

  • 41-23740 Red Ass

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to the 93rd Bomb Group, B-24H #41-23740 had been flown from the United States and delivered to the 2nd Bomb Wing on 2 December 1942. On 25 February 1943, the Liberator, piloted by 93rd BG pilot Jacob B. Epting, was being ferried from Port...


  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B24D 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 B...


Event Location Date
Born Gothenburg, NE 69138, USA 16 May 1917

May 16, 1917, Gothenburg, Nebraska.

Survived Ploesti Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti raid, returning safely to Libya.

Died Camarillo, CA, USA 1 September 2015

Died Sept. 1, 2015
Camarillo, California

Lived in Hershey, NE, USA
Assigned Benghazi, Libya

409th BS, 93rd BG, 8th AF. TDY 9th AF.


Date Contributor Update
04 October 2019 11:22:17 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 93rd Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2015 21:29:24 KD4ITI Changes to events

Dave Wentzel
Carolinas Aviation Museum

Date Contributor Update
14 April 2015 23:40:49 Al_Skiff Changes to mission associations

Date Contributor Update
14 April 2015 23:40:05 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, biography, awards, events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:20 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Dugan & Stewart 'Ploesti'/ The Most Honorable Son Ben Kuroki by Cal Stewart a new book out in 2004.