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Earl Clifford Hurd


Lt. Earle Clifford Hurd was assigned to 329th Bomb Squadron, the 92nd Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force, detached (TDY) to the 9th Air Force in North Africa, and flew as the command pilot of the B-24D, 41-23810, Tarfu, on the Ploesti oil refinery mission and returned safely to Libya. 1 Aug 43.

He copiloted for Capt. Packer. Crash landed, battle damaged B-24D, 41-23874, The Yard Bird, with all but one crew member surviving. 1 KIA. 16 Apr 43

Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.



  • Merrill Demas

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Flew on the low level Ploesti mission aboard tarfu as a tail gunner, came home with shrapnel in his back from this mission. He was a waist gunner early on then a tail gunner for the remaining missions. ...

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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...

  • 329th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-23810 Tarfu

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, 41-23810, named, Tarfu, flew on Operation Tidal Wave, the bombing mission to destroy the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The aircraft returned safely to Libya. 1 Aug 43. ...

  • 41-23874 "Ball of Fire Junior"

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 328BS, 93BG, 8AF USAAF.


  • 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

  • Hardwick

    Military site : airfield
    Planned as an RAF bomber airfield, Hardwick was used first by the 310th Bomb Group, equipped with B-25 Mitchells. In December 1943, the B-24 Liberators of the 93rd Bomb Group moved in, and remained until the end of the war, flying over 330 missions....


Event Location Date
Born 17 October 1918

Son of Herbert O and Cora N [Jacobson] Hurd.

Lived in Omaha, Nebraska 1942

Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Enlisted Fort Crook, NE 7 January 1942

Fort Crook, Nebraska

Based Benghazi, Libya 1943 – 1944

Assigned to 329th BS, 92rd BG, 8th AF. TDY 9th AF.

Survived Ploesti Ploiești, Romania 1 August 1943

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

Died Fort Collins, CO 6 April 1986
Buried Blair Cemetery Blair, Washington County, NE 10 April 1986

Blair Cemetery
Blair, Washington County, Nebraska


Date Contributor Update
04 October 2021 23:55:39 Kickapoo Changes to nickname, role and biography

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
12 February 2021 13:37:40 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, role, biography, awards, events and place associations
Removed # from A/C Serial No. to aid clarity and consistency

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2020 02:20:06 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2019 10:21:15 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 93rd Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
12 April 2015 14:09:53 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, events, unit associations and mission associations

AAM Database.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:56 AAM AAM ingest

'Ploesti' by Dugan & Stewart, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. 1 by Bishop and Hey p. 105 , Ted's Travelling Circus by Stewart p. 94 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia