Discussion in 'Stories' started by Hobilar, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Hobilar

    Hobilar Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    In June 1942, a specially trained bomber outfit, commanded by Colonel Harry A Halverson, with 23 early B-24Ds reached the Middle East. THe HALPRO unit, or Halverson Provisional detachment was made up of members of the 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and was heading east with the intention of being used by the 10th Air Force in China for bombing raids on Tokyo. After they reached Fayid in Egypt however, it became apparent that they were needed to combat German forces in the immediate vicinity. And so they were kept in theatre.

    To HALPRO fell the honour of making the first USAAF bombing mission against the German forces in Europe. On the night of 11-12 June 1942 thirteen Liberators struck the oil refineries at Ploesti in Romania (a place that much later in the war would be the target for other American bombers- but with dreadful losses). Four of the HALPRO Liberators force-landed near Ankara in neutral Turkey on the way back from the mission. One " Brooklyn Rambler" was late repaired by Turkish engineers and eventually repatriated to the USA.
  2. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

    Apr 1, 2004
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    Between 2230 and 2300 hours on the 11th June, thirteen B-24D bombers took off from Fayid, Eygpt. The bombers were led by Col. Halverson and intended to bomb the oil refineries at Ploesti in Romania. The 'Liberators' all proceeded to their targets individually and all arrived over Ploesti during the early hours of 12th June.

    "Ten bombed the Astra Romana Refinery at Ploesti, one attacked the port of Constanta and two dropped bombs on unidentified targets." - The 9th Air Force in World War II - Kenn C. Rust.

    Col. Halverson and three other bombers landed at Ramadi, Iraq; three others landed elsewhere in Iraq with one crashing on landing; two landed in Aleppo, Syria; while the final four had to land and were interned in Turkey.

    The damage to Ploesti was not great; an oil depot was destroyed at the Astra Romana Refinery and some minor damage was inflicted on the port of Constanta.

    The next 'HALPRO' mission was on the 15th June. On the 14th June a British supply convoy was headed for Malta with an Italian fleet on its way to intercept it. The morning after (15th June) seven U.S B-24Ds joined RAF Liberators of No.160 Sqdn. to attack the Italian fleet with 500-lbs bombs.
    The force found the Italian fleet and damaged the BB Littorio but causing no other damage. The threat of air attack and the minor damage already suffered drove the Italian fleet back to port.

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