NAME TP - M# SER - BLK - MF

SERIAL #

AF

BG

BS

SC RCL/# V#-P

PHOTO CREDITS

EDNA ELIZABETH

B

-

24

D

-

-

-

CO

41-11620 9 98 343

~

Z 00-4

LEE BENDT

Port (Left) Side - HALPRO #16 [M] Transfer - Aborted Operation TIDAL WAVE, 1 Aug 43, Ploesti Romania

Contributor - Bill Whitney
Shown with Ground Crew (L-R): Fisher, Johnson, Bendt (Crew Chief), Jones, Pentibona. Suffered a nose-wheel collapse and one source said Scotty Royce changed the #16 to #15-7/8 and "it went to be scrapped." Royce himself said it wasn't scrapped but instead went to a depot for repairs to be completed after he had prepared it for a one-time flight. In fact, the airplane ended up at the PROJECT 19 depot in Gura, Eritrea where it was repaired and repainted, resulting in a slight alteration of the lettering style in the name, but still EDNA ELIZABETH. Transferred to the 98th BG just in time to participate in the low level 1 Aug 43 Ploesti mission. Flown by the James Haverty crew and was assigned to the 98th's fifth wave. The plane turned back early soon after leaving the African coast to cross the Mediterranean. None of the major Ploesti works recognize Haverty (on loan to the 98th from the 93rd BG) or EDNA ELIZABETH as participants in the Ploesti mission but Haverty's Navigator Frederick Mueller confirms that they did start out on the mission. Lee Bendt, (Crew Chief - 343rd BS), lost his airplane SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (42-40364) on the Ploesti mission and would soon thereafter take over EDNA ELIZABETH. She turned rather more cantankerous and almost caused Bendt's ground crew to mutiny when seven consecutive changes of the wing fuel tank were needed to stop a fuel leak. A runaway prop governor thwarted Bendt's first attempt to send EDNA ELIZABETH on a combat mission and she was again consigned to a service group or depot for repair. Though she didn't fly combat after 22 Sep 43, she did return later to the USA for reclamation.

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B-24 Best Web. Published on Veterans Day 11/11/97. Last modified: December 08, 2016