Online Vids: Ploesti Raids, Zemke's P-47s & B-25s on the deck

Zeno's Warbird Video Drive-In August 2007 Newsletter
Hello RCers ---
You're invited to drop by Zeno's Drive-In
and sample this month's solid lineup of five World War 2 plane videos playing live online. August 1 was the 64th anniversary of epic low level the raids on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. We're marking the occasion with two films on the Ploesti missions and another on the remarkable B-24 Liberator bomber that was flown on that amazing long range attack.
Now showing At the Matinee
"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 hard, but the cost was high. Unescorted by fighters and coming in literally at tree top level to surprise the enemy, 54 out of 162 of the attacking bombers were lost, along with 540 American air crew. 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 the Foggia airfield in on the Adriatic coast in Italy in 1944 provided the 15th Air Force with a new base to launch a new series of new attacks on Ploesti. This time, B-17s and B-24s attacked with fighter escort at high altitude. Losses were again heavy, with over 1,800 air crew lost to FLAK and enemy fighters. Accuracy suffered when defenders used smoke pots to obscure the target, so P-38s were used as dive bombers to penetrate the defenses. Soon P-51s helped to achieve total air superiority over the target. By the end of the Ploesti air campaign in the fall of 1944, 90% of Romania's oil production was knocked out at a cost of 270 bombers and 49 fighters and their crews. Narrated by Ronald Reagan.
"Ramrod to Emden" The 56th Fighter Group (made up of the 61, 62 & 63 squadrons) was one of the most storied Air Corps units of World War II. Home to aces like David Schilling (22 kills), Frances "Gabby" Gabreski (28), Robert S. Johnson (27), Fred Christensen (21.5), Walker Mahurin (21), and CO Hubert "Hub" Zemke (18), the 56th blazed an early trail across the skies of the ETO in their massive, but deadly P-47 Thunderbolts. "Ramrod to Emden" is the story of the Dec 11, 1943 bomber escort mission (aka "a ramrod") to Emden, Germany. As you'll see in the film, the 56th encountered heavy, determined opposition from Germans, but it proved to be an exceptionally productive day. With Lt. Col. Schilling leading 50 planes of the group, they claimed 17-0-5, with two aircraft lost in a midair collision and no aircraft lost to enemy action. Allied bomber losses were minimal.
"Mission to Rabaul 12th October, 1943" The island of Rabaul, located in the southwest Pacific, northeast of New Guinea, was one of two strategic lynchpins for the Japanese, the other being the Island of Truk. The Japanese poured tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of airplanes, and thousands of tons of supplies onto Rabaul to make it a mighty fortress. Douglas MacArthur's brilliant solution to the Rabaul challenge was to isolate it, slowly starve it, and bypass it -- rather than assault it. One of the key steps in this strategy was the seizure of airfields in northern New Guinea to base Army P-38 fighters that would escort bombers on long range missions against the heavily defended Japanese stronghold. By the end of the War, once mighty Rabaul was cut off and reduced to a virtual prison for the starving Japanese. "Mission to Rabaul" shows how each piece of this classic campaign culminated inevitably in the first escorted, massed bomber strike on 12th October, 1943. The film focuses on the decisive and revolutionary impact of the air component, including high & low level attacks, parachute drops, and re-supply. You'll see amazing on the deck footage from attacking A-20s and B-25s.
"B-24s Get Back!" 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 too.
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! - Alert! There's just been an F-86 sighted over Zeno's Drive-In!
That's over 14 hours of rockin' World War II props for free viewing over the Internet!
Coming soon: A new film that will warm the hearts of P-38 fans everywhere!
Zeno's Warbird Video Drive-In /World War II Aviation Videos celebrating 10 years on the Internet 1997-2007
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