http://www.milhist.net/usaaf/ploesti.html

References to Ploesti, Rumania
from a USAAF WWII Chronology

FRIDAY, 12 JUNE 1942
MTO, HALPRO Detachment:
   13 B-24's of the HALPRO detachment (the bombing detachment for the China-Burma-India Theater) under command of Colonel Harry A Halverson enroute from US to China take off during the night of 11/12 Jun from Fayid, Egypt to bomb oilfields at Ploesti, Rumania. Only 12 attack at dawn; 4 of the 13 land at a base in Iraq which was designated for recovery of the flight, 3 land at other Iraq fields, 2 land in Syria, and 4 are interned in Turkey. Though damage to the target is negligible, the raid is significant because it is the first AAF combat mission in the European-African-Middle East (EAME) Theater in World War II, and the first strike at a target which later will be famous.

WEDNESDAY, 5 AUGUST 1942
MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF):
   Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton, in his first strategic estimate of the Middle Eastern war, indicates that the 3 major objectives for the Allied Air Forces are to assist in the destruction of General Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps by support to ground troops, secure sea and air communications on and over the Mediterranean, and carry out a sustained air offensive against Italy and against oil installations at Ploesti, Rumania and in the Caucasus, if the latter should fall under Axis control.
   Unit moves: 65th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, from Muqueibile, Palestine to Cyprus with P-40s; 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) arrives at Ramat David, Palestine from the US with B-24s; first mission is 12 Aug.

SUNDAY, 1 AUGUST 1943
EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force):
   In Rumania, 177 B-24's, of the IX Bomber Command (including B-24's on loan from the Eighth Air Force) are dispatched to bomb oil refineries at Ploesti and nearby Campina. The operation (TIDALWAVE) is costly, 54 planes and 532 airmen are lost, but damage to the targets is severe. 5 Medal of Honors are awarded for this mission.
   In Sicily, 230+ P-40's, the largest Ninth Air Force total to date, attack Adrano, the area near Randazzo, Messina, Milazzo, Taormina, and shipping in the Straits of Messina.

WEDNESDAY, 5 APRIL 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   334 B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; the B-17s bomb a marshalling yard at Ploesti, Rumania and Nis, Yugoslavia; the B-24s hit a marshalling yard at Ploesti and Leskovac, Yugoslavia; fighters and AA shoot down 13 bombers.

SATURDAY, 15 APRIL 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   Clearing weather again permits bomber operations. 448 B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards; B-17s hit Ploesti, Rumania and Nis, Yugoslavia; B-24s hit Bucharest, Rumania; 150+ fighters provide escort.
   A special group, led by Lieutenant Colonel Louis A Neveleff, flies from HQ at Bari, Italy to Medeno Polji, Yugoslavia and from there the group proceeds to Marshall Tito's HQ at Drvar, where Colonel Neveleff confers with Tito and spends several days laying the groundwork for the evacuation of downed US airmen in Yugoslav hands. Also, much information is gathered regarding the military organization and political trend of the partisan movement. The mission returns to Italy on 2 May and 122 men, mostly Fifteenth Air Force airmen, are also evacuated.

MONDAY, 24 APRIL 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   520+ bombers attack targets in Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Italy; B-17s bomb a marshalling yard at Ploesti, Rumania, an aircraft factory in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and the Ancona-Rimini railroad line (this is the first Azon mission by 5 B-17s); the B-24s bomb marshalling yards at Ploesti and Bucharest, Rumania; 250+ fighters fly support for the bombers.

FRIDAY, 5 MAY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   465th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s becomes operational, making a total of 20 heavy bomber groups operational in the Fifteenth Air Force.
   640+ bombers (the largest force to date) attack targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; the B-17s hit marshalling yards at Ploesti/Campina and Brasnov, Rumania; the B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Ploesti and troop concentrations at Podgoricu, Yugoslavia; fighters fly 240+ sorties in support.

SATURDAY, 6 MAY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   About 300 B-17s and B-24s, escorted by P-51s and P-38s, hit targets in Rumania; the B-17s attack an aircraft factory at Brasov and marshalling yard at Turnu Severin; the B-24s bomb Ploesti/Campina marshalling yard and an aircraft factory at Brasov.

THURSDAY, 18 MAY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   Almost 450 bombers, mostly with fighter escort, hit targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; both B-17s and B-24s bomb the industrial area at Ploesti, Rumania and the marshalling yard at Belgrade, Yugoslavia; the B-17s also hit the marshalling yard at Nis, Yugoslavia; 300+ other bombers abandon the missions because of bad weather; fighters strafe airfields at Nis and Scutari, Yugoslavia.

WEDNESDAY, 31 MAY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   480+ B-17s and B-24s bomb oil refineries and communications targets in the Ploesti, Rumania area; fighters fly 200+ sorties in support; 15 bombers are lost to flak and fighters; 40+ enemy aircraft are shot down.

TUESDAY, 6 JUNE 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   Shuttlebombing (Operation FRANTIC) continues as 104 B-17s and 42 P-51s (having flown to the USSR from Italy on 2 Jun) attack the airfield at Galati, Rumania and return to Soviet shuttle bases; 8 enemy fighters are shot down and 2 P-51s are lost. 570+ other bombers, with fighter escort, hit targets from bases in Italy, i.e., in Yugoslavia, B-17s hit the Belgrade marshalling yard and Turnu-Severin canal installations, and in Rumania, B-24s hit Ploesti oil refineries and the marshalling yard at Brasov.
   100th Fighter Squadron, 332d Fighter Group, moves from Capodichino to Ramitelli Airfield, Italy with P-47s.

SATURDAY, 10 JUNE 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   550+ B-17s and B-24s attack targets in Italy; B-17s hit a marshalling yard at Mestre and oil storage and marshalling yard at Porto Marghera; B-24s hit oil refinery at Trieste, air depot at Ferrara and the town of Ancona. P-51s and P-38s fly escort, and in Rumania, strafe targets of opportunity between Bucharest and the Danube River and S of Craiova, and dive-bomb an oil refinery at Ploesti.

FRIDAY, 23 JUNE 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   400+ B-17s and B-24s attack oil targets in Rumania; the B-17s hit oil refineries at Ploesti; the B-24s also hit oil refineries at Ploesti and oil storage at Guirgiu. 100+ US aircraft are shot down; the bombers and escorting fighters claim 30+ aircraft destroyed.

SATURDAY, 24 JUNE 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   335 bombers attack targets in Rumania; B-17s attack the railroad bridge at Piatra; B-24s bomb the railroad repair depot at Craiova and oil refinery at Ploesti; 33 P-51s sweep the Ploesti-Bucharest area while other P-51s, P-38s, and P-47s fly 220+ sorties in support of the bombers; the bombers and fighters claim 20+ aircraft shot down; 10 US aircraft are downed and several others are missing.

SUNDAY, 9 JULY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   In the Fifteenth's first Pathfinder-led mission, 222 B-17s and B-24s bomb Xenia and Concordia Vega oil refineries at Ploesti, Rumania; P-38s and P-51s fly escort; other P-51s sweep the Ploesti area during the attacks; the bombers and fighters claim destruction of 14 of the 40-50 opposing fighters; 6 AAF aircraft are shot down.

SATURDAY, 15 JULY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   In Rumania, 600+ B-17s and B-24s bomb 4 oil refineries in the Ploesti area and the Teleajenul pumping station; and P-51s and P-38s fly 300+ escort sorties.

SATURDAY, 22 JULY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   In Rumania, 76 P-38s and 58 P-51s begin the second Fifteenth Air Force shuttle missions, attacking airfields at Zilistea and Buzau (claiming the destruction of 56 enemy aircraft) and landing at Operation FRANTIC bases in the USSR; 458 B-17s and B-24s (with fighter escorts) bomb an oil refinery at Ploesti and other bombers hit alternate targets of the Verciorova marshalling yard, Orsova railroad bridge, and Kragujevac, Yugoslavia marshalling yard.

WEDNESDAY, 26 JULY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   Fighters on the second shuttle mission leave USSR Operations FRANTIC bases, strafe enemy aircraft in the Bucharest-Ploesti, Rumania area, and return to bases in Italy. In Austria, 330+ B-17s and B-24s attack the Wiener Neudorf aircraft factory, the airfield at Markersdorf, Thalerhof, Zwolfaxing, and Bad Voslau, and targets of opportunity in the Vienna area. Also hit are Szombathely Airfield, Hungary and oil storage at Berat, Albania. Fighters fly escort and carry out patrols and sweeps in the Brod-Zagreb, Yugoslavia and Ploesti-Bucharest, Rumania areas; bombers and fighters claim 70+ enemy aircraft shot down.

FRIDAY, 28 JULY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   345 B-17s and B-24s attack 2 oil refineries at Ploesti, Rumania and a marshalling yard at Florina, Greece; P-51s and P-38s provide support for the Ploesti raid.

MONDAY, 31 JULY 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   360+ bombers attack targets in Rumania; B-17s hit an oil refinery at Ploesti; B-24s bomb 2 oil refineries at Bucharest, 1 at and Doicesti, and oil storage at Targoviste. Fighters escort the bombers.

SUNDAY, 6 AUGUST 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   60 fighters take off from Operation FRANTIC bases in the USSR, attack Craiova marshalling yard and other railroad targets in the Bucharest-Ploesti, Rumania area, and land at Italian bases. Close to 700 B-17s and B-24s, operating against targets in SE France, attack oil storage at Le Pouziii, Le Pontet, and Lyon, railroad bridges at Le Pouzin, Avignon, Tarascon, Rambert, and Givors, marshalling yards at Portes-les-Valences and Miramas, and submarine pens at Toulon; 43 P-38s dive-bomb airfields at Orange/Plan de Dieu, and Valence; P-38s and P-51s fly about 200 sorties in support of bombing missions.

THURSDAY, 10 AUGUST 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   450+ B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, hit 6 oil refineries in the Ploesti, Rumania area. In Italy, the 37th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group, ceases operating from Corsica with P-38s and returns to base at Triolo Airfield; and the 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, based at Salsola Airfield with P-38s, sends a detachment to operate from Aghione, Corsica.

THURSDAY, 17 AUGUST 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   53 B-17s, with fighter cover, bomb Nish Airfield, Yugoslavia. 250 B-24s, escorted by P-51s, bomb 3 oil refineries and targets of opportunity in the Ploesti, Rumania area.

FRIDAY, 18 AUGUST 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   370 fighter-escorted B-17s and B-24s bomb 5 oil refineries around Ploesti, Rumania; 89 B-24s, with fighter cover, bomb Alibunar Airfield, Yugoslavia. The detachment of the 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, operating from Aghione, Corsica with P-38s returns to base at Salsola Airfield, Italy.

SATURDAY, 19 AUGUST 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   Bombing the Ploesti, Rumania area for the fourth consecutive day, 65 B-17s supported by 125 P-51s blast 2 oil refineries.

TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
   330+ heavy bombers attack the oil refinery at Blechhammer S, Germany and the industrial area of Vienna, Austria, plus alternate targets and targets of opportunity including marshalling yards at Banhida, Nagykanizsa and Szombathely, Hungary; Strass and Graz, Austria; and Maribor, Yugoslavia, a railroad bridge at Maribor, a rail line at Furstenfeld, Austria, and targets of opportunity scattered throughout the Balkans. P-51s escort a C-47 picking up personnel at Valjevo Airfield, Yugoslavia, a B-17 carrying a photo crew to Rumania (to photograph Ploesti), and several C-47s transporting personnel to Araxos Airfield, Greece.


The source document, The USAAF in WWII, is archived on Charles McGrew's pages at Rutgers.

A compilation of entries pertaining to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations is found on the Military History Network at USAAF Chronology • Mediterranean Theater • WWII.