My grandparents told me, that in the nearby forest, there was an American plane crash when American planes got back from bombing Ploiești. This is the place on Google Maps.

To put things in a bit of context, I am quoting from book Historical Dictionary of the Petroleum Industry By M. S. Vassiliou:

Germany invaded Romania in 1916, during World War I, to gain control of its oil resources and processing facilities, most of which were located around Ploiești. The Allies managed to sabotage the oil fields and facilities, seriously crippling production for a time. In World War II, Winston Churchill labeled Ploiești the "taproot of German might." The area supplied Germany with about 60 percent of its crude oil. Ploiești boasted some 40 refineries, producing nearly 3.5 Mmb of refined fuel annually. The Soviet Union bombed Ploiești on 23 June 1941, and the United States did so on 12 June 1942.

The major air raid, however, took place on 1 August 1943. Code named 'Tidal Wave," it involved 178 bombers of the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) taking off from Benghazi, Libya. The bombers flew 1,350 miles to reach their target, the farthest air raid ever attempted up to that time. The attackers used new low-flying tactics. But the Germans, who had been intercepting and decoding USAAF communications, were ready. The United States lost 54 bombers, and more than 500 crew members were killed, wounded, or captured. About 42 percent of Ploiești's production capacity was destroyed, but not all capacity was being used. Within a few weeks, Ploiești was producing more than it had before the raid. In April 1944, the USAAF began raiding Ploiești from Italy, ultimately destroying most of its facilities.

More details about Tidal Wave Operation on Wikipedia.

I don't know if it was in the 1942 or 1943 attack, but I know the approximate coordinates of the spot. Is there a way to find who died and what American plane crashed over this spot in Romania in the 1942 or 1943 attack on Ploiești?

1 Answer 1


I haven't been able to find any data on the known crash locations of any of the bombers lost. I have found a website that list's most of the bombers included in the raid, and looking on the Wikipedia articles goes some way towards making the list look genuine (as the squadrons listed did take part in the raid, according to wikipedia).

However, to find more information on the lost bombers the website I've linked to may provide you with some pointers. For example, the list linked to lead me to a veterans group website for the 98th Bombardment Group. The page linked to lists the bombers included in the raid and many are listed as "Shot Down in the Target Area" such as the Margie (the aircraft name)

42-41007-P; MARGIE


CP Jerome Savaria(POW-ROM, WIA)

N Ralph F. Parkins Jr. (KIA)

B William H. McNeil (KIA)

T Michael J. Trick (POW-ROM,WIA)

R Theodore C. Beaudry (KIA)

G George H. Kaylor (KIA)

G Harry G. Deem (KIA)

G Alexander M. Cockrane (KIA)

G Roland B. Cox (KIA)

Shot down in the target area.

My recommendation would be to see if any newspapers in the area talk about the finding any wreckage, or if any museums about the city in the war/about the raid (if they exist) can help you to narrow it down further.

  • 1
    Great resource +1 I see a few "Lost over Romania on return flight." Jul 31, 2013 at 15:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.