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William Raymond Nessler


Assigned to 565BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 42-40629.

Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME.



  • Kenneth Caldwell

    Military | Major | B-24D Co-Pilot - Command Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Lt. Kenneth M. Caldwell from the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bombardment Group, and the 565th Bomb Squadron took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti with Col. Jack W. Wood, observing, on 1-Aug-43, flying the B-24D, 42-40629, named, THE...

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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. ...

  • 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...

  • 565th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-40629 - The Scorpion

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, 42-40629, The Scorpion, in the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bombardment Group, and the 565th Bomb Squadron, flew on Operation Tidal Wave, the bombing mission on the oil refineries, piloted by Lt. Kenneth M. Caldwell and Col. Jack Wood...


  • 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

  • Hethel

    Military site : airfield
    Construction of Hethel airfield began in 1941, and was finished in late 1942. The number of hardstandings was increased from the planned 36 to 50 in 1942, in order to accommodate a full heavy bomb group. The 320th Bomb Group occupied the base for ten...


Event Location Date
Born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 20 November 1913
Enlisted Greensburg, PA 3 September 1942

Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Based Hethel 1943 – 1944

Assigned to 565BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF.

Discharged USAAF 16 October 1945

Honourable discharge.

Died 4 December 1974
Buried Saint Vincent Cemetery Latrobe, Westmoreland County, PA 7 December 1974

Saint Vincent Cemetery
Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania


Date Contributor Update
19 May 2021 09:31:44 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events

Removed # from A/C serial No. to aid clarity and consistency

Date Contributor Update
18 May 2021 20:00:34 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
28 December 2020 21:10:37 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2019 14:30:13 general ira snapsorter Changes to role, biography, unit associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 389th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:39 AAM AAM ingest

389th BG Roster / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia