Web Videos: Ploesti/B-24 Liberator Tribute, Supersonic B-58s & Merrill's Marauders

August 10th, 2010  

Topic: Web Videos: Ploesti/B-24 Liberator Tribute, Supersonic B-58s & Merrill's Marauders

Zeno's Warbird Video Drive-In Big August 2010 Newsletter

Hello World War 2 & jet aircraft fans --

You are invited to drop by Zeno's Drive-In
This month we're showing four films commemorating the 67th anniversary of the heroic low level raid on the Ploesti, Romania oil fields on August 1st, 1943 and the B-24 Liberators that flew it. Plus, we've got two new premiers featuring the B-58 supersonic bomber and Merrill's Marauders in action in Burma in World War 2.

As always, all of the videos showing on our web site are for your free viewing pleasure. My thanks to Military Quotes for permission to post here. The movies playing at the Matinee are viewable in both RealVideo and Windows Media Player streaming video formats

Now showing "At the Matinee" at Zeno's Drive-In

"B-58 Hustler: Swift, Capable, Versatile, Operational! Color New - This film report from the US Air Force on the progress of the B-58 Program was produced by the Convair Division of General Dynamics in January 1961. Highlights include B-58 crews scrambling from their '58 Chevy to get their Hustler airborne; the 18th Sept, 1959 low level capability demonstration flight from Texas to California averaging over 600 kts at altitudes below 500', unique film of a B-58's automatic release of it's weapons pod at Mach 2, at over 50,000'; 43rd Bomb Wing B-58s win SAC's 1960 Combat Competition, defeating 24 other aircraft in both high & low level bombing classifications, and the amazing string of speed and altitude records set at Edwards AFB in January, 1961. Outstanding color B-58 Hustler footage throughout!

"Merrill's Marauders and the 88th Fighter Squadron in Burma " New Premier Restored video. This dramatic film contains all known footage of Merrill's Marauder's 5307th Composite Unit (provisional) secret deep penetration mission behind Japanese lines through the Burmese jungle to capture the airfield at Myitkyina. Almost unique among such film records, it was shot and is narrated by Sgt David L. Quaid, the combat cameraman who participated in the operation, giving an eyewitness perspective. The last third of the film is an up close look at 88th Fighter Squadron P-40 dive bombers flying out of the captured Myitkyina airfield, supplying very close air support for the Marauder's assault on the town itself. Highlights include from the cockpit views of P-40 dive bombing runs and 88th FS armorers custom fitting 250 pound Navy HE depth charges with fins & detonators for use against jungle fortifications. Parts of the original film were damaged when dropped into a drainage ditch in transit from the battlefield. We have digitally restored those sections

Four films commemorating the 67th anniversary of the heroic low level raid on the Romania oil fields on August 1st, 1943 and the B-24 Liberators that flew it:
"The 98th Bomb Group Liberators Over Africa " Exclusive production. This recently discovered footage shows Medal of Honor winner Col. John R. "Killer" Kane and the men of the 98th Bomb Group in the Summer of 1943, shortly before the heroic, costly Ploesti mission, at their desert base in Benghasi/Benina, Libya. You'll see legendary B-24s like "The Vulgar Virgin," "The Sandman," and "War Cloud." There's an unexpected gem too. Soon after the Axis surrender in Tunisia, 9th combat cameraman Jim Bray hitched a ride on a B-24 and filmed all the major North African targets the 98th had hit from the air, from El Alemein to Tunis. You'll see Tobruk, Tripoli, Benghazi and more. This is a priceless time capsule

The Ploesti Missions:
"Medal of Honor: Ploesti August 1, 1943"
On August 1, 1943, specially trained elements of the 8th and 9th Air Forces flying B-24 Liberators based in Benghazi Libya launched a daring low level attack on Ploesti, over 1,200 miles away. They struck and struck hard, but the cost was very high. Every member of the attacking force was awarded a medal, including 5 Medals of Honor, the highest decoration awarded by the U. S. military. Of the Medal of Honor recipients, only Col. Leon Johnson, 44th Bomb Group, and Col. Jon "Killer" Kane, 98th Bomb Group, survived the mission.
"Air Siege Ploesti : March to August 1944"
The capture of Foggia in Italy in 1944 provided the 15th Air Force with a base to launch a new series of air attacks on Ploesti. This time, B-17s and B-24s attacked with fighter escort at high altitude. Losses were heavy, with over 1,800 air crew lost to FLAK and enemy fighters. Narrated by Ronald Reagan.

"B-24s Get Back " Many of the B-24 crews who survived the Ploesti missions swore that they owed their lives to their rugged Liberators. This remarkable film shows how B-24s overcame incredible battle damage to bring their crews home. Numerous examples of seemingly critically damaged B-24s making it back. This is a fascinating instructional training film too, with specific techniques to bring your badly crippled ship down safely. Some great B-24 combat footage!
"B-24 Liberators Over Europe " A remarkable film produced by the Eighth Air Force from combat camera footage showing B-24s in action over Europe. From Ploesti to Berlin, you'll discover memorable Liberator scenes not found anywhere else, including pulse pounding air attacks. You'll see B-24 crews up close too, along with their ships.

If you haven't stopped by Zeno's Drive-In before, we also feature 1940-45 vintage WWII Army & Navy films and pilot's manuals on how to fly the F4U, F6F, P-38, P-39, P-40, P-47, P-51, P-61, TBF/TBM, AT-6/SNJ, B-17, B-24, B-25, A-20, A-26, B-26, B-29, and Stearman N2S. Alert! - don't miss the F-86 & B-58!

Free admission for all. That's over 14 hours of rockin' World War II props & jets for free viewing over the Internet!


Zeno's Warbird Video Drive-In
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Web Videos: Ploesti/B-24 Liberator Tribute, Supersonic B-58s & Merrill's Marauders
August 10th, 2010  
Great stuff!
August 10th, 2010  
Great stuff indeed
October 4th, 2010  
The B-24 (produced in greater numbers than any other fixed wing US aircraft) and the men who flew it on this mission (and all other missions) deserve recognition and respect.
What it is often overlooked is that the first US B-24 mission to Polesti (in fact the first by the USAAF against a European target) was on 12 June 1942, the “Halverson” or “Halpro” raid. This action still receives little publicity, I’m guessing due to the battle of Midway, a few days prior.

“Violence is the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived.” R. A. Heinlein