The oil fields located around the city of Ploesti were of vital importance to Germany's war effort. They were the first targets in Europe to be bombed by American forces from their bases in Egypt in June 1942. These facilities were also the target of massive raids consisting of 220 Liberator bombers in August 1943. The raids took place from bases in Lybia. However, the main offensive started in April 1944, when Allied forces from bases in Southern Italy could attack in larger
June 11 saw another raid against the oil production in Romania. This time, storage facilities in Giurgiu were the target and the 461st Bomb Group sent it's Liberator bombers. The crew of Lt Hefling was assigned on this mission. Since the aircraft which they regularly flew was under repair, they used Liberator No 42-52458. A group of 18 Romanian IAR-80 fighters started to attack the bomber formation before they reached the target. The fighters broke off over the target, when n
Enemy defenses over the Ploesti oil fields were formidable. Flak and fighters claimed many Allied planes, and many that were damaged could not make it back to their bases in Italy. We follow the last two damaged planes before they crashed into Yugoslavia on June 6th. Another victim of the enemy defenses was Liberator No 42-50405. Like other aircraft, it was damaged over the target by flak and then attacked by enemy fighters. However, their crew fought bravely and shot down se
D-Day was best known for the Allied invasion of Normandy, but it was also a very exciting day in the skies over Serbia. Axis defenses over Romania were very strong, and many damaged aircraft could not return to their bases in Italy.
One of these was Liberator No 42-52717, which was hit by flak over Brasov. Every engine was damaged, the plane fell out of the formation, and started losing altitude. The crew tried to eject all of their excess weight, but it was not enough, and
On June 6th, six American bombers crashed in Serbia. Almost all the crew members were rescued by Chetniks. We will follow their path as the damaged aircraft made their way back to their bases in Italy. Another two aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Čačak. They were fortunate as they landed in the vicinity of the airfield near Pranjani. Liberator No 42-7757 was damaged by flak over Ploesti and then attacked by enemy fighters. Two of its engines were disabled, but the 4-engin
June 6th is best known as D-day - the Allied landing in Normandy. But it was also very important for the Halyard Mission. On this day, six American aircraft crashed in Serbia. A total of 63 airmen were rescued by Chetniks while only 4 airmen were killed or captured. This is the largest number of airmen rescued in Serbia in a single day.
Liberator No 42-109818 from the 98 Bomb Group was attacked by enemy fighters during the return from a mission to Ploesti. One airmen was ki
On June 2nd, 1944, the 483rd Bomb Group was on its way to bomb targets in Romania. But before crossing the border between Yugoslavia and Romania, Flying Fortress No. 42-31847 developed mechanical problems and had to leave formation. Later, the crew was forced to bail out, and the plane crashed near the village of Tarevci, close to Modriča, Bosnia. Seven crew members were captured, while the pilot Raymond Hansen and copilot Charles Townsend managed to contact Chetniks and evad