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Air Raid Ploesti!

Discussion in 'Air War in the Mediterrean' started by kerrd5, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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  2. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

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    Looks like an ideal job for 50x 'Mosquitoes'.


    John.
     
  3. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I have met two pilots who flew on the Polesti raids...........one on "Witchcraft" the other on "Big Butch".........crazy stories.
     
  4. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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  5. Bob Guercio

    Bob Guercio Dishonorably Discharged

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    Doesn't this airplane seem a bit low?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. kelleyheritage

    kelleyheritage New Member

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    my grandfather was the ball turret gunner on lil butch this mission, just passed away on Tuesday... what a brave man. He never once mentioned any of this, I had to research it on the net to find out
     
  7. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Name LaBrake by chance?
     
  8. kelleyheritage

    kelleyheritage New Member

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    No John Kelley
     
  9. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    There was the low level Ploesti mission Operation Tidal Wave of 1 August 43 that the photo at the beginning of this thread is from, but there was no aircraft named Lil Butch or a John Kelley on that mission.

    Then there was the series of high level missions against Ploesti in 1944 by the 15th AF. There were two aircraft that I know of named Lil Butch in the 15th AF; one with the 455 Bomb Group, 742nd Bomb Squadron, and one with the 449th Bomb Group, 718th Squadron. There was also a ball turret gunner named John E Kelley in the 718th Squadron. Is that the right Kelley?
     
  10. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    I made a point of visiting Ploesti on my last trip to Romania.
    Contrary to what you might believe from the photo above, the oil fields and plants were very scattered and spread out. It must have been a very difficult target indeed.
    No surprize at to me at all that most accounts are of low level bombing,,, and that it took so many raids to do so little damage that was so easily and quickly repaired.

    When mcoffee says (above) "Then there was the series of high level missions against Ploesti in 1944 by the 15th AF."
    - I believe that what he means by that is: High Level, important missions by the 15th AF.
     
  11. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    I mean high altitude vs the low altitude TIDAL WAVE mission
     
  12. kelleyheritage

    kelleyheritage New Member

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    That would be him. I read one of your other threads and it mentioned him. I didn't know that there were multiple raids, he was a member of another crew, but he was in the sick bay when they were shot down
     
  13. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Your grandfather flew 3 missions to Ploesti including the 31 May mission where he was aboard the same aircraft as my father. Post #25 here:
    http://www.ww2f.com/topic/52802-seventy-years-ago/

    John Kelley was a member of the Gerald Warner crew. After that crew was shot down on 26 May, he flew most of his remaining missions with the Al Issacs crew. Issacs' ball gunner had bailed out over Yugoslavia with the Harper crew on 5 May.

    I have most of your grandfather's missions in my database. PM inbound with my email adr.
     
  14. harolds

    harolds Member

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    A side-story on the first Ploesti mission, "Tidal Wave": The big reason that the losses on this mission were so high was that there was a lot of light AA in the area. One young German AA gunner "put the hammer down" on a bomber with his 20mm gun. He got the bomber with one long barrel-burning burst. However, his NCO came unglued because he didn't use short bursts like he was trained to do. He tried to get the gunner court martialed. This put their CO in a predicament because he would gladly trade a 20mm barrel for a 4-engined bomber any day, but he also felt he needed to back his NCO. He ended up transferring the gunner (who survived the war) and demoting the NCO.

    PS: Am glad mcoffee and kellyheritage met online!
     
  15. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    mcoffee - if you have the time and the inclination, please update any loss records you can (especially if you have the aircraft's serial number) at: http://lostaircraft.com/database.php?

    Steffan, Admin and owner of the database, has entered the entire USAAF MACR records (Missing Air Crew Reports) via a script into the database.
    And as such, there are upwards of 10,000 entries awaiting input that are missing even critical and minimal info like the ENTIRE crew list and mission information.

    Any input would be most appreciated and valued. Start by searching by serial number, failing that by name, before entering a new database entry.
    - Most if not all USAAF losses will be found, and the database does not permit duplication.

    Example: I just updated http://lostaircraft.com/database.php?mode=viewentry&e=25052

    There are instructions for entering missing squadrons etc etc into drop down lists at: http://lostaircraft.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=30389
     

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