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Royden Louis LeBrecht

Military

Lt. Royden Louis LeBrecht was a B-24D command pilot in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bomb Squadron. He flew his B-24D, he named, The Squaw, on Operation Tidal Wave, the large mission to destroy the German held oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. August 1,1943. He was good friends with most of the the pilots flying alongside him in the 344th Bomb Squadron and on Flight One of the 98th Bomb Group's airplanes flying to Ploesti, including, Lt. John Young, Lt. Robert Nespor, KIA, killed on takeoff to Ploesti, and Pilot Sam Neeley, KIA, killed over the target at Ploesti, all pilots in the 98th Bomb Group's 344th Bombardment Squadron.

Lt. LeBrecht's assigned bomber was the B-24D, SN 41-11761, that he named, The Squaw. On the Ploesti mission, LeBrecht flew in the right side of the first line of the line abreast, "V" formation of the 98th Bomb Group's Flight One. After bombing his target at Ploesti and escaping south from the Ploesti refinery area with very little damage to his plane, 'The Squaw', Lt. LeBrecht decided to stay with and provide cover for his friends in the smoking, shot up B-24 stragglers, and joined up with Col. John Kane and his damaged B-24D, Hail Columbia, Lt. "Gib" Hadley, who was KIA, killed later, trying to ditch his shot up B-24D, Hadley's Harem, just off of the Turkish coast. They had all diverted and followed John Kane's, Hail Columbia, as his navigator, Norman, "The Baron", Whalen from set a course across Turkey to the British airfield at Nicosia, Cyprus, as did many other crippled B-24 bombers escaping Ploesti.

After the mission, Lt. LeBrecht and his crew returned to USA for war bonds tour in his airplane, 41-11761, The Squaw, with Lt. John S.Young and his crew, who flew the B-24D, The Blue Streak, and Major Walter Stewart and his crew, flying the B-24, Bomerang, back to Fort Worth, Texas, for their war bond tour. 1944

Service

People

  • Herbert Arens

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24 Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    2nd Lt. Herbert W. Arens was a B-24D command pilot in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bomb Squadron. He flew the B-24D Liberator bomber, 41-11803, named, Rosie Wrecked 'Em, on the mission to destroy the oil refineries at Ploesti,...

  • John Givens

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Crew member B-24D, 41-11761, The Squaw, flew on Operation Tidal Wave 1-Aug-43, diverted to Cypress. Returned to base ar Benghazi, Libya. RTB. 3-Aug-43. Flew to Fort Worth, Texas, USA for a war bond tour with, The Squaw. ...

  • John Guanu

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Crew member on the B-24D, 41-11761, The Squaw. Flew on the 1-Aug-43 Ploesti mission. Damaged by flak and diverted to Cyprus. Returned to base at Benghazi, Libya 3-Aug-43. Flew to Fort Worth, Texas for a war bond tour with, The Squaw. 1944 ...

  • Gilbert Hadley

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24D Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Gilbert Ben "Gib" Hadley was born and raised in Arkansas City, Kansas. He was the son of Perry Arthur Hadley and Beulah Pearl Bacastow, born 6-May-21. Kansas was his home and enlistment state, and Cowley County was included within the archival record. ...

  • Adney Harmon

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Crew member of the B-24D, 41-11761, The Squaw, that flew on the 1-Aug-43 Ploesti bombing mission. Damaged over Ploesti by flak, they diverted to Cypress. Returned to base at Benghazi, Libya 3-Aug-43. Flew to Fort Worth, TX, USA for war bonds tour with...

  • Ronald Helder

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24D Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    2nd Lt. Ronald Lee Helder was a B-24 pilot in the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bomb Group, and the 564th Bombing Squadron in WWII. He flew as Co-pilot with his friend, Command Pilot Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes, in the B-24D Lt. Helder called, Ole Kickapoo,...

  • Lloyd Hughes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24 Command Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Lloyd Herbert Hughes Jr., better known to his friends, as "Pete," flew his fifth mission, as pilot of a B-24D Liberator bomber in an attack against the Axis oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania. He was killed August 1, 1943 when his plane was severely...

  • Leon Johnson

    Military | Brigadier General | B-24 Command Pilot - Commanding Officer 44th Bomb Group | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Col. Leon Johnson, the commander of the 44th Bomb Group from the 8th Air Force in Britain provided superior leadership in planning and training his pilots from the 8th Air force from the U.K. to employ very low altitude flying, before and during...

  • John Kane

    Military | Colonel | B-24 Bomb Group Commanding Officer / B-24 Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    John Riley Kane was a colonel in the United States Army Air Corps and, later, in the United States Air Force. He received the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor, in World War II, for his leadership, courage, and...

  • Clinton Killian

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24 Co-pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    First Lt. Clinton Killian was First Lt. Royden LeBrecht's co-pilot on their B-24D, The Squaw. He flew on the 1-Aug-43 mission to Ploesti, Romania, and diverted to Cyprus after flying cover for the damaged B-24s, Hail Columbia, The Sandman, and Hadley...

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Units served with

  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942. ...

  • 344th Bomb Squadron

    344th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    The 344th Bombing Squadron was first activated at MacDill Field, Florida as one of the original three squadrons assigned to the 98th Bombardment Group. The 344th soon moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana, where it began to train as a Consolidated B-24...

Aircraft

  • 42-40402 - The Sandman

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator bomber, named, The Sandman, was named, and flown, by Lt. Robert Sternfels and his co-pilot, Lt. Barney Jackson, in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 345th Bomb Squadron, on Operation Tidal Wave, the famous mission to...

  • 41-24198 - The Vulgar Virgin - Hell From Heaven - Shoot You're Faded

    B-24 Liberator
    - The B-24D, 41-24198, in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bomb Squadron, was one of 2 B-24Ds in the MTO based at Benghazi, Libya, with identical nose art pictures, and both named, The Vulgar Virgin, this one, 41-24198, flown...

  • 41-24311 - Hadley's Harem

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, named, Hadley's Harem, was Lt. Gilbert Hadley's personal airplane and the one he flew, with his CoPilot, Lt. James Lindsey, on the mission to destroy Hitler's oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. As Hadley was approaching his target refinery,...

  • 41-11819 - Raunchy

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, Raunchy, 41-11819, was in the 344th Bomb Squadron, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 9th Air Force, based at Benghazi, Libya, North Africa, in early 1943. ...

  • 41-11761 - The Squaw - Sleepy

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator bomber, 41-11761, was first named, Sleepy, by the men in the 8th Air Force and the 93rd Bomb Group in the U.K. It was, later, renamed, The Squaw, by it's Command Pilot, Lt. Royden LeBrecht, after being transferred to the 9th Air...

  • 41-11825 - Hail Columbia - Little Chief Big Dog - Grumpy

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, Hail Columbia, 41-11825, was assigned to the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron. It was first assigned to the 344th Squadron's CO, Col. John R. Kane's, personal aircraft until Kane became the 98th Bomb Group's...

  • 41-11768 - Kickapoo

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, 41-11768, named, Kickapoo, was Lt. John S. Young's regularly assigned B-24D, after his 98th Bombardment Group moved out of Egypt, to the air bases at Benghazi, Libya. John Young was from Dallas, Texas, like so many of the men...

  • 42-40753

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, 42-40753, was a Consolidated B-24D bomber from the 389th Bombardment Group, of the 8th Air Force, and the 564th Bomb Squadron from England. It's Command Pilot on Operation Tidal Wave, was 2nd Lt. Lloyd Hughes, and his crew. They flew on...

Missions

  • 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

  • Berca

    Military site : airfield

  • Lete

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Born Denison, TX, USA 21 April 1919

21-Apr-19 Royden Louis Lebrecht born in Denison, Texas. He is son of Louis H. and Myrtle Azola Walton Lebrecht. [Source: City of Denison birth records]Dennison, Texas, USA.

Enlisted Dallas, TX 10 November 1941

Dallas, Texas

Assigned Benghazi, Libya 1943

343rd Bomb Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force.

Survived Ploesti Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

Pilot B-24 41-11761 'The Squaw' flew on the 1st Aug 43 Ploesti raid, diverted to Cypress.

War Bonds Tour 1944

Returned to Fort Worth, TX, USA for war bonds tour with A/C.

Died Tucson, AZ 28 July 2003

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2022 14:49:47 decwriter Changes to service number, biography and awards
Sources

Corrected AM to reflect AM with six Oak Leaf Clusters per NARA files. Removed UNSM and added ADSM, ACM based on date of entry. He earned at least one bronze service star on the EAME Campaign Medal. Corrected spelling in bio entry.

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2021 20:34:12 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Punctuation. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
16 May 2021 00:03:44 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'Bomerang'

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2021 10:17:00 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 'Bomerang'

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2021 04:57:47 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-11761

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2021 04:29:41 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-11761

Date Contributor Update
27 April 2021 14:09:50 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, biography and events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/624758697
https://www.fold3.com/record/58886885/royden-l-lebrecht-social-security-...
https://www.fold3.com/record/84781479/royden-l-lebrecht-wwii-army-enlist...

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2021 00:29:30 Kickapoo Changes to biography, events and person associations
Sources

Grayson County Texas - GenWeb Family - LeBrecht Family Chronology

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2020 09:48:49 Kickapoo Changes to role
Sources

Ploesti -- James Dugan & Carroll Stewart

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2020 09:23:03 Kickapoo Changes to person associations
Sources

Ploesti -- James Dugan & Carroll Stewart

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2020 09:18:34 Kickapoo Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Ploesti -- James Dugan & Carroll Stewart

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2020 08:18:16 Kickapoo Changes to nickname, biography, awards and events
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2020 07:05:12 Kickapoo Changes to role, biography, person associations, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2020 06:46:33 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2015 18:56:01 Al_Skiff Changes to events and media associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2015 16:30:53 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2015 16:06:01 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2015 16:03:52 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations, aircraft associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

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