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Posted: 1/28/2014 5:12:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2014 5:13:14 PM EDT by Johnny_Reno]

Tonight's featured avatar belongs to the team member, Mountainsurvivor - an infrequent poster, though a long time member of the site since 2001!!!






His avatar is a painting of a B-24 Liberator by the artist, Roy Grinnell.  






During WWII, the Nazis relied heavily on the oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania to feed their war machine.  At one point, over two-thirds of Germany's oil came from these facilities.  That made them a very important target for the allies.  If we could cripple their oil production, we could starve their machine.

That brings us to the B-24 in the painting.  This aircraft was named "Hell's Wench" which was an apt name considering both the hell it delivered as well as the hell it endured.

The aircraft was piloted by Lt Colonel Addison Baker, the commander of the 93rd Bombardment Group.  

The name of the raid was Operation Tidalwave.  The idea was to flood Ploesti with so many bombers that there could only be one result from the raid - destruction of the highly prized and extremely well defended refineries.  The men of this raid had been briefed on the importance for the bombers to deliver their deadly loads despite the danger that they were facing.  

Lt Col Baker was the lead aircraft of his element into the target.  His aircraft was hit several times and left aflame.  Just a few short miles from the target, he flew over a number of flat spots where he could have belly landed his dying aircraft and saved himself and his crew.  

Someone called "Look at the Colonel!  Look at the Colonel!"  His number 3 and 4 engines were on fire and the flames stretched back to his stabilizers.  Others called on him to abandon the aircraft.  Colonel Baker could have done that.

But he didn't.

He flew the crippled aircraft into the target area and finally was able to release his bombs.

Hell's Wench struggled to climb for altitude, but it was too late - crashing on the edge of the refinery with a complete loss of all hands.

For his bravery and leadership that day, Lt Colonel Baker and his co-pilot, Major John Jerstad were awarded the Medal of Honor.






His citation reads as follows:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on August 1, 1943. On this date he led his command, the 93d Heavy Bombardment Group, on a daring low-level attack against enemy oil refineries and installations at Ploesti, Rumania. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit by a large caliber antiaircraft shell, seriously damaged and set on fire. Ignoring the fact he was flying over terrain suitable for safe landing, he refused to jeopardize the mission by breaking up the lead formation and continued unswervingly to lead his group to the target upon which he dropped his bombs with devastating effect. Only then did he leave formation, but his valiant attempts to gain sufficient altitude for the crew to escape by parachute were unavailing and his aircraft crashed in flames after his successful efforts to avoid other planes in formation. By extraordinary flying skill, gallant leadership and intrepidity, Lt. Col. Baker rendered outstanding, distinguished, and valorous service to our Nation
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...and now you know.  

Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:21:36 PM EDT
I like these threads Johnny, that was a good one.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:24:26 PM EDT
I always wonder if I was the subject of one...I have no way of knowing.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:25:09 PM EDT
Awesome.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:25:22 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Beansay:
I like these threads Johnny, that was a good one.

Thanks.
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Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:25:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2014 5:26:00 PM EDT by Devilman13xx]
yay!. no more knock off avatar threads!
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:26:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhirlyGirl45:
I always wonder if I was the subject of one...I have no way of knowing.
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I always IM the person immediately after posting the thread.


Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:26:32 PM EDT
I can say I've learned something from GD.  Thank you.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:26:32 PM EDT
Hadn't seen one of these in a while.  Glad to see it again.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:27:08 PM EDT
I was familiar with the painting for sometime and recognized it in the avatar.
I was not familiar with the details of it tho. Thank you for sharing that information.
Brave men.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:28:03 PM EDT
Great thread!

A+

Would read again.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:36:38 PM EDT
Wow
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:44:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2014 5:45:13 PM EDT by FrankSymptoms]
There's a very good book about B-24 warfare in the European theater. It's called "Target Ploesti: View from a Bombsight." Author was Leroy Newby (interesting, because my mother's maiden name was Newby).

The -24 was known for being a flying bomb. The word on it was that if you detected a fire onboard, you had 15 seconds to get out. Obviously, the above crew disproved that rumor-- but not by much.

eta Available on Amazon.com.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:46:38 PM EDT
Thanks johnny I really enjoy these threads
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:47:46 PM EDT
Glad to see these are back
Always liked these threads.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:49:58 PM EDT
The Colonel is a hard looking son of a gun. "Where do we find such men?"

Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:53:13 PM EDT
Now that's a great story!
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:58:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:



I always IM the person immediately after posting the thread.


View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Originally Posted By WhirlyGirl45:
I always wonder if I was the subject of one...I have no way of knowing.



I always IM the person immediately after posting the thread.



Thanks-now I can sleep tonight!
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:58:31 PM EDT
I looked at the PM and it was titled 'Your Next' and I thought I was in trouble for something. LOL
I knew a little about the raid in particular but not all of it . Thanks.

The B17 got most of the glory during the war but the Liberator was the workhorse. It could carry a higher bomb load, was faster and had a longer range.

Here's another story I found about the raid that involved another Liberator along with some specs.

http://acepilots.com/planes/b24.html
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 6:01:07 PM EDT
I like these threads . I hate the cheap Chinese knock offs .
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 6:02:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mountainsurvivor:
I looked at the PM and it was titled 'Your Next' and I thought I was in trouble for something. LOL
I knew a little about the raid in particular but not all of it . Thanks.

The B17 got most of the glory during the war but the Liberator was the workhorse. It could carry a higher bomb load, was faster and had a longer range.

Here's another story I found about the raid that involved another Liberator along with some specs.

http://acepilots.com/planes/b24.html
View Quote

You may still be on trouble.
Watch out for penguins.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 6:08:44 PM EDT
Glad your doing this again. I LIKE IT.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 6:10:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 6:58:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhirlyGirl45:

You may still be on trouble.
Watch out for penguins.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhirlyGirl45:
Originally Posted By mountainsurvivor:
I looked at the PM and it was titled 'Your Next' and I thought I was in trouble for something. LOL
I knew a little about the raid in particular but not all of it . Thanks.

The B17 got most of the glory during the war but the Liberator was the workhorse. It could carry a higher bomb load, was faster and had a longer range.

Here's another story I found about the raid that involved another Liberator along with some specs.

http://acepilots.com/planes/b24.html

You may still be on trouble.
Watch out for penguins.



I'm scared of penguins.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 4:30:17 AM EDT


B-24 bump!

Link Posted: 1/29/2014 4:53:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:






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Better quality picture for the avatar:


Link Posted: 1/29/2014 6:04:32 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 4xGM300m:


Better quality picture for the avatar:

http://i.imgur.com/oSp0CdG.jpg
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Originally Posted By 4xGM300m:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:


http://www.ar15.com/media/images/xAvatar/3892.JPG





Better quality picture for the avatar:

http://i.imgur.com/oSp0CdG.jpg



You should IM that to him.

Link Posted: 1/29/2014 6:08:39 AM EDT
My Great-Uncle flew as a B-24 pilot with the 9th AF, including raids on Ploesti (I've seen his war-time flight log).  Went on to fly BUFFs in the 50's and '60s.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 9:30:21 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:



You should IM that to him.

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Originally Posted By 4xGM300m:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:


http://www.ar15.com/media/images/xAvatar/3892.JPG





Better quality picture for the avatar:

http://i.imgur.com/oSp0CdG.jpg



You should IM that to him.



It's your thread.

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