"These are two films commemorating the costly missions flown by the US Army Air Force against the Ploesti oil fields in Romania in 1943-44. August 1st marks the 76th Anniverasy of the first mission." Zeno
* Medal of Honor: Ploesti August 1, 1943 (1944, Black & White, 7:00)
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 and struck hard, but the cost was very 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. This film features dramatic action that has been excerpted for countless documentaries. This is the original.
* Air Siege Ploesti : March to August 1944 (1945, Black & White,19:30)
The capture of Foggia in Italy in 1944 provided the 15th Air Force with a base to launch a new series of air attacks on Ploesti. This time, B-17s and B-24s attacked with fighter escort at high altitude. Losses were heavy, with over 1,800 air crew lost to FLAK and enemy fighters. Accuracy suffered when smoke pots were used 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. By the fall of 1944, 90% of Romanian's oil production was knocked out. Narrated by Ronald Reagan.