Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Clarence H Weckesser

Military

SSgt. Clarence Weckesser was the flight engineer and top turret gunner on the B-24D, named, 'KICKAPOO', in the 9th Air force, the 98th Bomb Group, called 'The Pyramiders', and the 344th Bomb Squadron out of Benghazi, Libya in 1942 and 1943. He flew on Operation Tidal Wave to Ploesti, Romania, after being reassigned to fly on Col. John R. "Killer" Kane's element Lead airplane, 'Hail Columbia' with his entire crew from 'Kickapoo', including his command pilot, Lt. John S. Young. His life was spared when 'Kickapoo' crashed in flames taking off for the Ploesti mission, killing all but two of it's replacement crew.

SSgt. Weckesser and all of 'Hail Columbia''s crew survived the Ploesti mission with minor injuries from flak splinters. Weckesser received the Distinguished flying Cross for his contribution on Operation Tidal Wave, Aug 1, 1943.

Service

People

  • Neville Benson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    SSgt. Neville C. Bensen took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943. He was a waist gunner in the Element Lead B-24D Liberator, # 41-11825, 'Hail Columbia', piloted by Col. John R. "Killer" Kane and Lt. John S. Young. He...

  • Raymond Hubbard

    Military | First Lieutenant | Radio Operator | 98th Bomb Group
    Lt. Raymond B. Hubbard was assigned to the 9th Air force, the 98th Bombardment Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron in Libya, North Africa, 1943. He took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying as a Waist Gunner and...

  • John Kane

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    John Riley Kane (January 5, 1907 – May 29, 1996) was a colonel in the United States Army Air Corps and later 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...

  • Harold Korger

    Military | Colonel | Bombardier Navigator | 98th Bomb Group
    Lt. Harold Korger was a bombardier in the 344th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. He flew on the famous mission, Operation Tidal Wave, Aug 1, 1943, to knock out the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. ...

  • Joseph LaBranche

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying in B-24 Liberator 41-11825.

  • Frederick Leard

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Technical Sgt. Frederick A. Leard was a waist gunner assigned to the Element Lead B-24D Liberator bomber, named 'Hail Columbia', SN # 41-11825, flown by Col. John R. "Killer" Kane and Lt. John S. Young on Operation Tidal Wave, the large mission to...

  • Harvey Treace

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    SSgt Harvey L. Treace - Born Dec 19,1918 - ...

  • Norman Whalen

    Military | Major | Navigator / Nose Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Norman Whalen joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. After graduating from Navigator School in Monroe, Louisiana, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 9th Air force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron...

  • John Young

    Military | Major | B-24 Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Lieutenant John S. Young was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Bored with college at SMU in Dallas, and knowing the country was headed for war, he joined the Army Air Force early in 1941 and began training as an aviation cadet. He was known as "Johnny"...

Show more

Units served with

  • 9th Air Force
  • 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

  • 41-11825 HAIL COLUMBIA, LITTLE CHIEF-BIG DOG, GRUMPY, HAIL COLUMBIA

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, HAIL COLUMBIA, #41-11825, originally served in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron. It was, first, the 344th Squadron's CO, Col. John R. Kane's, personal aircraft until Kane became the 98th Bomb Group's CO...

  • 41-11768 Kickapoo

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, SN # 41-11768, 'KICKAPOO', was piloted by Lt. John S. Young from Dallas, Texas as part of the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron, which arrived in North Africa in early 1943. This airplane was...

Missions

  • 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...

Associated Place

  • Lete

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2021 12:57:41 Kickapoo Changes to awards
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2021 12:55:27 Kickapoo Changes to role
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2021 12:52:51 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2021 10:16:53 Kickapoo Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, person associations, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

The 98th Bomb Group - 344th Bomb Squadron - SSgt Clarence H Weckesser

Share