Pete
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The Early Years
(12 Jul 1921 -
27 Jan 1942)

Army Air Forces
(28 Jan 1942 -
1 Aug 1943)

Post Ploesti
(2 Aug 1943 -
31 Jul 2006)

Most Recently
(1 Aug 2006 -
Present)


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2nd Lt. Lloyd Herbert "Pete" Hughes, Jr.
(12 Jul 1921 - 1 Aug 1943)


The Early Years - Army Air Forces - Post Ploesti - Most Recently

Army Air Forces
(28 Jan 1942 - 1 Aug 1943)

On 28 Jan 1942, Pete enlisted into the Army Air Forces as a Private in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA. He was appointed an Aviation Cadet on the same day and entered Air Corps Replacement Training Center (Aircrew) at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA. He was just over 20 years and 6 months in age. His enlistment record shows that he was 6 foot 1 inches tall and weighed 181 pounds. (Sources: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Record and Statement of Military Service)

In Mar 1942, Pete was transferred to the Army Air Forces (AAF) Primary Pilot Training School in Tulsa, County, Oklahoma, USA. (Source: Statement of Military Service)

Sometime in May 1943, Pete visited his parents in Corpus Christi. (Source: "Two Corpus Christi Men Reported ...")

In Apr 1942, Pete entered the Army Air Forces Basic Pilot Training School in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma. (Source: Statement of Military Service)

In Jul 1942, Pete received his Army Air Forces Advanced Pilot Training in Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas, USA. (Source: Statement of Military Service)

In Sep 1942, Pete was transferred to Four Engine Transition School and Combat Crew School in Tarrant Air Base, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, USA.  (Source: Statement of Military Service)

On 8 Nov 1942, Pete married Hazel Dean EWING in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA. (Source: family genealogy)

On 10 Nov 1942, Pete was promoted to Second Lieutenant receiving his commission and his wings at Lubbock Flying Field in Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas, USA. He was rated Pilot. Pete was immediately called to active duty with the Army Air Forces, 8th Air Force, 2nd Air Division, 389th Bombardment Group, 564th Bombardment Squadron. (Sources: "Nation’s Highest Decoration Given," Statement of Military Service, "Two Corpus Christi Men Reported ...," and family genealogy)

From 13 Nov 1942 to Jan 1943, Pete was stationed at Tarrant Field, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, USA. (Source: Statement of Military Service)

On 18 Jan 1943, Pete graduated as a four-engine bomber pilot at Tarrant field, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, USA. (Source: "S. A. Man Graduated As Bomber Pilot")

From Jan 1943 to Feb 1943, Pete was stationed at Davis-Monthan Field, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA. (Source: Statement of Military Service)

From Feb 1943 to Mar 1943, Pete was stationed at Biggs Field, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA. (Source: Statement of Military Service)

From Apr 1943 to May 1943, Pete was stationed at Lowry Army Air Force Base, Denver, Colorado, USA. This is possibly the first time that the whole crew was assembled and they were assigned to a B-24D heavy bomber, Liberator, with the Aircraft #42-40753 J. (Source: Statement of Military Service)

Sometime in May 1943, Pete went home (San Antonio or Corpus Christi?) on a six-day leave. (Source: "Congressional Medal Given Flier's Widow")

On 13 Jun 1943, Pete and his crew flew from Lowry Army Air Force Base, Denver, Colorado, via Dow Field in Maine, to Hethel Royal Air Force Base in England. (Source: Flights of "Ole Kickapoo")

Probably in Jun 1943, Pete signed his name on a Bank of England Ten Shillings note - a short snorter - and someone wrote, "To Mrs. Lloyd H. Hughes wife of Lloyd H. Hughes." There are eleven signatures one side of the note and twenty signatures on the other.

On 1 Jul 1943, Pete and his crew flew from Hethel Royal Air Force Base to Benghazi, Cyrenaica region, Libya. The 389th was temporarily transferred (assigned? diverted? attached?) from the 8th Air Force to the 9th Air Force to Benghazi in support of Operation Husky and Operation Tidal Wave.

On 9 Jul 1943, Pete and his crew flew their first bombing mission to Maleme Airdrome, Crete, Greece. (Source: Army Air Forces Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs))

On 11 Jul 1943, Pete and his crew flew their second bombing mission to Reggio Airdrome, Calabria province, Calabria region of Italy. (Source: (MACRs)

On 16 Jul 1943, Pete and his crew flew their third bombing mission to Bari Airdrome, Bari province, Apulia region, Italy. (Source: (MACRs)

On 19 Jul 1943, Pete and his crew flew their fourth bombing mission to Rome Littorio Rail Road Yards, Lazio region, Italy. (Source: (MACRs)

On 31 Jul 1943, Pete's co-pilot, Ronald Lee Helder wrote a letter to his parents saying that they had named their B-24 "Ole Kickapoo.” He also wrote that the crew was classified in the best three of their squadron.

On 1 Aug 1943, Pete and his crew flew their fifth and last bombing mission in the Ploesti Raid, known as "Operation Tidal Wave." Their mission was an extremely low level bombing run over the Steaua Romana oil refinery in Campina, labeled "Red Target." Campina is about 18 miles north of Ploesti in the Prahova county, Wallachia region of Romania. They totally destroyed the Steaua Romana refinery - it did not go into production again until sometime in 1949. Pete's Medal of Honor citation reads, "After successfully bombing the objective, his aircraft emerged from the conflagration with the left wing aflame. Only then did he attempt a forced landing, but because of the advanced stage of the fire enveloping his aircraft the plane crashed and was consumed." (Sources: United States Army, National Museum of the USAF, Statement of Military Service, 389th Bomb Group, MACRs)

Second Lieutenant Lloyd Herbert "Pete" Hughes, of the U.S. Army Air Forces, 9th Air Force, 2nd Air Division, 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 564th Bombardment Squadron, died while trying to land his B-24 in the dry river bed of the Prahova River, Campina, Romania. He was the Pilot of a B-24D heavy bomber, the Liberator, aircraft #42-40753 J, nicknamed "Ole Kickapoo." Ironically, as a college student he had majored in petroleum engineering, then he died trying to destroy an oil refinery. He was just over 22 years old.

The Early Years - Army Air Forces - Post Ploesti - Recent Events

 


"Sandman" over Ploesti, a B-24 piloted by Robert W. Sternfels.
Photo taken from "Chug-A-Lug," a B-24 piloted by LeRoy Morgan.
© Philip Wright. My thanks to Philip for permission to use his photograph.


Created: August 1, 2006

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