01.08.1943 No. 409th Bomb Squadron 93rd Bomb Group, B24D Liberator 42-40265, 1st Lt. H.H. Womble
Operation: "Operation Tidal Wave" Ploesti Raid
Date: 1st August 1943
Unit: No. 409th Bomb Squadron 93rd Bomb Group
Type: B24D Liberator
Serial: 42-40265 "Honkey Tonk Gal"
Location: 10 miles past target Ploesti, Romania
Pilot: 1st Lt. Hubert H Womble O-663978 USAAF PoW
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Lawrence N Lancashire O-735404 USAAF PoW
Fl/Eng: T/Sgt. Mack Fitzgerald 14067163 USAAF PoW
Nav: 2nd Lt. Arthur W Thompson O-794181 USAAF Age 22. PoW
Bom: 1st Lt. William K. Little O-728290 USAAF KIA
Rad/op: S?Sgt. Howard O Ford 33200358 USAAF PoW
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack Reed 18084225 USAAF PoW
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James W Barker 13048346 USAAF PoW
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John P English 35277037 USAAF PoW
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leo Sharp 18108375 USAAF PoW
REASON FOR LOSS:
Flak Damage crash landed near target Ploesti Romania
Operation Tidal Wave was an air attack by bombers of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) based in Libya and Southern Italy on nine oil refineries around Ploiești, Romania on 1 August 1943, during World War II. It was a strategic bombing mission and part of the "oil campaign" to deny petroleum-based fuel to the Axis. The mission resulted in "no curtailment of overall product output".
This mission was one of the costliest for the USAAF in the European Theater, with 53 aircraft and 660 aircrewmen lost!
It was the worst loss ever suffered by the USAAF on a single mission, and its date was later referred to as "Black Sunday". Five Medals of Honour and numerous Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded to Operation Tidal Wave crew members. (info courtesy Wikipedia)
1st Lt. William K. Little. Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial Saint-Avold, France. Plot E. Row 43. Grave 15.
Extra Info: Bombardier 1st Lt William H Little died from gas fumes inhaled after crash in Sinai hospital Romania whilst PoW.
Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, February 2016. With thanks to Pete Stevens for photo of 1st Lt. Little and to Marshall and Mary McIntyre for grave photo. Photographs of Wellington from the Michel Beckers collection.