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Eldon Neil Colby


1st. Lt. Eldon Neil Colby flew the B-24D, 'TOUCH OF TEXAS' - 8th AF - 389th BG - 566th BS, on his first mission as a Pilot, after being the CoPilot on his original aircraft 'THE OKLAHOMAN' - # 42-40738. He was flying alongside 'THE OKLAHOMAN' in 'TOUCH OF TEXAS' when 'THE OKLAHOMAN' was hit by a direct burst of flak, carrying the Harley Mason Crew, who normally flew in 'FIGHTIN' SAM - # 42-40506). 'THE OKLAHOMAN' was blown apart, with Lt. Harley Mason being the sole survivor (POW). Dec 5, 1943.

Lt. Eldon Colby was shot down in the B-24D, #42-7766, Prisoner of War (POW). December 30, 1943.

Pilot : 1st Lt. Eldon N. Colby, POW
Squadron: 566th Bomb Squadron - 389th Bomb Group - 8th Air Force
POW Stalagluft 1 in Barth, Germany, until liberated in 1945.

Target: Ludwigshafen, Germany
Missing Air Crew Report Details
Date Lost: Dec-30-1943
Serial Number: 42-7766
Aircraft Model B-24H-5-FO
Aircraft Letter: H+
Aircraft Name: 'HEAVY DATE'
Location: Crashed near Charleville France.
Cause: German Fighters 2 EVD, 1 KIA, 7 POW

Pilot 1st Lt. Eldon Neil Colby flew the B-24H Liberator, 'HEAVY DATE', on 8 missions including his final mission to Ludwigshaven, Germany. Colby's ship failed to return, shot down by German fighters. He had left his formation to return to Hethel, Britain. The 389th Bomb Group lost two aircraft on this day. Colby survived and was taken prisoner POW. MACR 1974. Dec 30, 1943 - Liberated 1945.


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...

  • 566th Bomb Squadron

    566th Bomb Squadron

    Constituted 566th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Dec. 1942. Activated on 24 Dec. 1942. Inactivated on 13 Sept. 1945. Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air...


  • 42-40738 'The Oklahoman'

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24 Liberator bomber, SN #42-40738, named 'The Oklahoman' was in the 566th Bomb Squadron, the 389th Bomb Group, and the 8th Air Force from Britain. The pilot, Lt. Jack Martin, who named 'The Oklahoman', was, appropriately, from Tosamingo,...

  • 42-7766 'HEAVY DATE'

    B-24 Liberator
    Shown with 1st Lt. Eldon Neil Colby (Pilot - standing far right), who flew this aircraft on 8 missions, including the one he was shot down in by ME-110's near the France/German border, on a raid to Ludwigshafenon, Dec 30, 1943. CoPilot Taylor was KIA,...

  • 42-40751 'Touch of Texas'

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 Liberator #42-40751 later named 'Touch of Texas' 567th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by William J Denton, returning safely to Libya. ...

  • 42-40506 'Fightin' Sam'

    B-24 Liberator


Event Location Date
Born Inglewood, California
Prisoner of War (POW) Belgium 30 December 1943


Date Contributor Update
23 April 2021 19:05:43 Kickapoo Changes to biography

Best Web - B-24 - 42-7766

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2021 19:00:18 Kickapoo Changes to middlename, nickname and biography

Best Web - B-24 - 42-7766

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2021 18:50:02 Kickapoo Changes to biography and aircraft associations

FindAGrave Memorial - Lt. Eldon Neal Colby

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2021 18:37:56 Kickapoo Changes to middlename and biography


Date Contributor Update
16 August 2020 03:57:39 jmoore43 Changes to biography

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

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:08:48 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1974 / MACR 1974, 389th BG roster / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database