The Allied Balkan bombing campaign chronology of World War II PART I

 

Air Raid Ploesti! A B-24 flying over a burning oil refinery at Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943.

February 28, 1941, RAF To enable bombing of "Romanian oil installations", a British Expeditionary Force established a 'Balkan front'.

June 1941 - Ploieşti - The RAF bombed Ploieşti.

July 14, 1941 - Ploieşti - 6 RAF aircraft bombed Ploieşti.

June 12, 1942 - Ploieşti (Astra Română) - The Halverson project raid from Egypt was the first US mission against a European target — 10 aircraft bombed the Astra Română oil refinery.

September 1942 - Bucharest - The Soviet Union's VVS bombed the oil installations.

September 1942 - Ploieşti -  The Soviet Union's VVS bombed the oil installations.

May 19, 1943 - The CBO "Eaker" plan was approved and confirmed oil targets as the 4th primary objective ("contingent upon attacks against Ploesti").

May 16, 1943 - Ploieşti - The Advisory Council submitted the Air Attack on Ploesti ("SOAPSUDS") bombardment plan, which the Trident Conference subsequently considered. On June 6 the plan was deemed "an important and desirable operation", and the "Planning Committee" first met on June 25 (Uzal Girard Ent predicted losses of 75 aircraft). Training began on July 20/22 and ended on July 29.

B-24 Liberators at low altitude while approaching the oil refineries at Ploiești

August 1, 1943 - Brazi - Operation Tidal Wave bombed the Creditul Minier refinery in Brazi.

August 1, 1943 - Câmpina - Operation Tidal Wave bombed the Steaua Română refinery in Câmpina.

August 1, 1943 - Ploieşti - Operation Tidal Wave bombed the Astra Română, Columbia Aquila, and Unirea Orion refineries at Ploieşti (four Medals of Honor were awarded for the US Bomber pilots and four Order of Bravery to the Bulgarian fighter pilots to shoot them down)

August 1, 1943 - Ploieşti - Operation Tidal Wave bombed the Astra Română and Concordia Vega refineries at Ploieşti (one Medal of Honor was awarded). The Enemy Oil Committee subsequently appraised that Operation Tidal Wave bomb damage at Ploieşti caused "no curtailment of overall product output".

November 26, 1943 - Hartley Committee - "losses of oil stocks … caused by Allied attacks during the first eight months of 1943 [were] 400,000 tons. … Approximately 75 percent of Romanian crude is a waxy, viscous oil that becomes solid at temperatures below 69" degrees (J.I.C (43) 480).

Left a light Romanian anti-aircraft gun that brought down three US bombers. Right interior of a bomber that crashed in the attack

February 3, 1944 - Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest, and Vienna were identified as second priority objectives for 15AF "area attack"

April 5, 1944 -  Ploieşti - 230 bombers bombed Ploieşti for the 1st time in 8 months, 118  beginning the "1944 Ploesti Campaign" (April 5-August 19: 5,674 sorties, 13,559 bomb tons, 254 aircraft lost).  239  The 5th BW and 47th BW bombed the Ploeşti marshaling yards and adjacent oil facilities, and the 451 BG bombed the Ploieşti oil refineries and marshaling yard Archived 2009-03-16 at the Wayback Machine (marshaling yards were next to an oil plant.)[specify] The Ploeşti marshaling yards were bombed on April 15 by the 15th AF and on April 24, by the 32nd BS, when the first use of the "Mickey" (H2X radar) was against Ploeşti.

April 24, 1944 - Ploieşti - 34 B-24s of the 450 BG targeted the marshaling yards and bombed the "Vega Oil Refinery".

May 5, 1944 - Ploieşti - The marshaling yards and oil refineries were bombed. 153  B-24s also bombed the Braşov 450 BG & Ploieşti marshalling yards on May 6.

May 18, 1944 - Ploieşti (Concordia Vega) - The 464 BG bombed the Concordia Vega refinery.

 

May 26, 1944 -  Ploieşti (Româno-Americană) - The No. 205 Group RAF bombed the Româno-Americană refinery.

 

Columbia Aquila refinery burning after the raid

May 28/29, 1944 - Ploieşti - Ploieşti was bombed.

May 31, 1944 - The 485 BG bombed the Redeventa [sic] Refinery. "Lumina Petromina" was an additional Romanian refinery not in Ploieşti or Bucharest.

 

May 31, 1944 - The intelligence annex to the field order for the May 31 Ploieşti mission stated "Successful attacks on [the aircraft factories at the] Wiener-Neustadter complex have raised oil to high priority. …destruction of remaining active capacity of Ploesti will create [a] critical situation for [the] entire Axis war effort and make possible further important inroads through attacks in Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Italy. [The] Eighth Air Force has now damaged all but 2 of the major synthetic plants in its area making it possible for Fifteenth [Air Force] to destroy sufficient refinery and synthetic capacity to [reduce total] production close to 75 percent. Destruction of vital installations in targets selected will immobilize Ploesti capacity for several months."

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