Progress Update

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It’s been quite a long time since I updated you on the status of my TIDAL WAVE/Ploesti documentary, and I assure you I’ve been working diligently. It’s not done yet, but I’m getting much closer to putting it on the street.

This update is a very long since it’s been quite a while since I last communicated with you so I’ve broken this up into several sections. Here’s what I’ll cover:

  • The “big deal” that’s kept me motivated to keep going on this long and very expensive project
  • Why only 56 bombs out of 260 (22%) carried to the 98th Bomb Group’s target (WHITE IV) actually fell on the target–as an example of the kind of research and analysis I’ve been doing
  • What the German and Romanian flak locations in the Ploesti area looked like, the flak coverage the crews had to fly through (good thing they didn’t see the map in advance!), where specific planes crashed in relation to the flak, etc.–as another example of my recent research and analysis

These are barely the tip of the iceberg, but all I’m going to talk about today!

READ MORE . . .

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4 Responses to Progress Update

  1. I am a current member of the 98 group/wing veterans association I was a waist gunner on a B29 over Korea 1951 1952 344 bomb squadron.. As you probably know, the B-24 in the picture is of the “SANDMAN” piloted by Retired Major Robert W Sternfels. I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours visiting with him at our reunion in 2001. I have an autographed copy of his book, “BURNING HITLER’S BLACK GOLD”. I represents another view of what went wrong on operation “TIDAL WAVE”. If you don’t have the book you might try to get a copy.

    A couple of years later a lady showed up, at our reunion with a book “MATERNITY WARD final flight of a WWII Liberator” it is based on the diary and pictures she received from her brothers effects she received antiwar he and his entire crew when down on that mission. Her book has been published by Pone Castle Books P.O. Box 4397 Prescott AZ 86302-4397. it may still be available..

    I think Bob Sternfel’s book was self published. I have no idea what that means or how you could get hold of one.

    in 2001 there were about 350 of us at the reunion. This year there are only about 50, signed up to attend. That includes wives and or children of the members. Last year there was only 1 B24 guy at the reunion and he was 95.

    I suspect this will be our last one, I was 19 when I was over there, I am now 85. there cannot be many 98 Bombardment WinG Korean vets left.

    I hope this information will be of some help.

    • DHK says:

      Hi Richard

      I’ve always been impressed by the work the 98th did over Korea. It didn’t take them long to destroy the entire industrial base of North Korea, but of course other Communist countries kept them well supplied in war materiel. Some of the greatest B-29 nose art came from the 98th during that period; I’ve collected many photos of their ships. Did you have an assigned aircraft?

      I’m well familiar with Bob Sternfel’s position on what happened at Ploesti, and was able several years ago to obtain a copy of MATERNITY WARD, which is also an interesting book. Thanks for pointing them out.

      Based on the dates you mention, I guess you were about 11 years old when the TIDAL WAVE mission was flown. Do you recall hearing about it as a kid? How did it affect you?

      You’re right about the aging of our WW II/Korea vets. I hope that as many of you as possible will record your memories for posterity as soon as possible. It’s very easy today to get a cheap electronic voice recorder that will hold pretty much all your stories. It’s not necessary to write a book; just getting your memories recorded is the main thing. It’s like a lot of other things in life–“I’ll get to it someday.” That’s why I like the voice recorder for this–it’s easy to use and no big deal. Just sit down and talk. The other thing I’ve noticed about memories is that once you start a lot more stuff comes back to you and like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going and going (this is a good thing!).

      Thanks for contacting me. I wish you the best of luck and happiness.

      Dave

  2. Darlena Hulsey says:

    It only lists the airman that were POW’s, KIA, and those that returned to bases. My dad, Dale G. Hulsey and three of his crew members were MIA or listed as Evadees and were taken in by Tito’s partisans. They continued to fight with the partisans for 319 days until they were rescued by the OSS. My dad passed away on November 13, 2014, two days before his 93rd birthday. My aunt (his sister) asked why he was so angry the last few months. I knew he was depressed because my mom passed away a few months before. I made immediate notification to the VA and sent the required documentation. A few months later they sent him a letter stating he had been overpaid since my mom’s death. A week later they sent a letter stating that he owed them $6,200 and if it wasn’t repaid immediately, they would withhold all benefits. I know this part isn’t relevant but it leads up to what made him so very angry. After he passed away, I was going through his retirement papers I found a group of letters beginning in 1945 through 1949 requesting back pay and per diem for those 319 days. The government refused to pay him and his three crew members because they could not furnish an address of where they were staying in Yugoslovia. They weren’t staying anywhere. They were constantly on the move to keep from being killed. The Germans put a price on the heads of the four Americans.

    I hope you include the four of them in your documentary. I do have my dad’s complete military file. Rep. Key Granger requested it when I asked if she could get his medals issued that he had been awarded, but never received. She checked his service record out before requesting his medals and she presented them to him at his 90th birthday party.

    • DHK says:

      Hi Darlena

      I just discovered that my http://www.Low-Level-Ploesti.org website stopped sending me alerts that somebody has posted a comment. Your interesting note from four months ago (!) has unfortunately fallen into that category, for that I apologize–I have no idea why my alerts stopped. Please be assured that my lack of response does not indicate a lack of interest!

      The Army works in mysterious (and sometimes evil) ways, and I’m very sorry your Dad was treated so abysmally for so many decades. Not only did he have every right to be angry, his service was well above and beyond what most others performed. I’m very glad Rep. Granger got him his medals while he was still with us.

      You’re right–the TIDAL WAVE aviators who fought with the partisans were every much in the fight as the guys who got back to base and continued flying–and in considerably greater danger. Their remarkable story deserves to be told. Do you know whether the CIA (antecedent of the OSS) has any records on what they did?

      Again, sorry about the long delay in answering your note.

      Dave