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The Twenty-fifth Mission

May 2024
1min read

I enjoyed the article in the September 2001 issue about the Liberator, by Stephen E. Ambrose. Of particular interest to me is the photograph on page 41. It shows the pilot and several crew members of Exterminator , a B-24 D of the 8th Air Force, 2d Air Division, 93d Bomb Group, 330th Squadron. The man in the center of the picture pulling on his boot was Exterminator ’s pilot, Capt. Hugh R. Roper, of Oak City, Utah. He and the men in this photograph were lost while returning from their twenty-fifth mission, the famous low-level bombing raid on Ploesti, Romania, on August 1, 1943. During the return trip this aircraft and one flown by a new pilot collided in clouds over Yugoslavia, in a situation exactly like that described by Mr. Ambrose in the article.

It’s always good to read a realistic account such as this of the work, dedication, and sacrifice of the airmen of World War II.

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