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Rockly Triantafellu


Interned in Turkey, landed in Izmir, Turkey, while on TDY to 9th AF for Ploesti raid in B-24 'Hitler's Hearse' 42-40544.

Completed 25 combat missions with 389th. On his fifth mission, which involved bombing the German-held oil fields in Ploesti, Romania, where their Liberator "Hitler's Hearse" was severely damaged by artillery fire. Their pilot was killed, and the co-pilot, engineer, radio operator, and top turret gunner were so badly wounded Triantafellu had to take over many of their duties. Standing on a catwalk above an open bomb bay, Triantafellu transferred enough gasoline from the damaged tank to the reserve tank to enable the co-pilot to crash-land in Turkey. All survivors were interred, but Triantafellu escaped after two months and returned to England to complete his combat tour as squadron and later group bombardier of his original unit 389BG.

He served in the Strategic Air Command and Director of Intell for US 8th AF 1954-1962 Served in Vietnam as intelligence director for Hdq. 2nd AD in Saigon. He retired in 1972 after 35 years of military service. He was rated master navigator and the first navigator to reach the rank of general.

Awards: DSM (OLC), LOM (OLC), DFC (OLC), AM (3OLC), Croix de Guerre w/silver star, WWII Victory, EAME, Vietnamese Air Order 2nd Class.



  • Robert Mooney

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 567BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. TDY with 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40544 'Hitler's Hearse'. A/C and crew interned Izmir, Turkey. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: DSC, AM, PH.

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Units served with

  • 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...

  • 567th Bomb Squadron

    567th Bomb Squadron

    567th Bombardment Squadron, 24 December 1942 - 13 September 1945 ...


  • 42-40544 'Hitlers Hearse'

    B-24 Liberator
    Failed To Return - Ploesti oil refinery raid, 1st Aug 1943, landed near Izmir, Turkey, pilot Robert C Mooney, crew interned.


  • 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...


Event Location Date
Born Daytona Beach, Florida 17 August 1917

Son of Nick Sr and May [Harney] Triantafellu.

Enlisted Jacksonville, FL 12 March 1942

Jacksonville, Florida

Interned İzmir, Turkey 1 August 1943
Died Honolulu, HI 6 August 2010
Buried September 2010

Arlington National Cemetery


Date Contributor Update
18 February 2021 12:18:17 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, highest rank, biography, awards, events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
15 November 2019 12:42:17 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography and events

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 389th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
15 March 2015 19:43:30 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, events, unit associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

AAM Database.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:24:20 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR (9thAF), Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol I p. 223 & Page 426 in the book 2ND AIR DIVISIONby Turner Publishing Company, 1998 edition (D790.A2S45)