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USAAF Nose Art Research Project


 

Jersey Jackass
B-24D-CO 41-11776

98th Bomb Group, 343rd Bomb Squadron

This aircraft was also known as
Bashful

 

This B24 was originally assigned to 44BG but then transferred into the 98th's 343rd Bomb Squadron. It was assigned to the crew of Lt Muehlberg who flew it on at least 24 combat sorties -- the first being against the Corinth Canal in Greece on 25th August 1942. Later missions were flown to strike shipping targets in Benghasi harbour. It was almost lost on 2nd December when another crew (Lt Groff) took the B24 to strike Naples. One hour into the flight, all four engines cut out simultaneously but, fortunately, were restarted as the airplane plummeted towards the sea.

Prior to the invasion of Sicily, "Jersey Jackass" pounded the ferry terminal at Messina to prevent German forces evacuating the island. Strikes against Palermo, Naples and other Italian targets continued well into 1943 and on 17th July it had another lucky escape when flak ripped 40 holes in the side, shot away hydraulic lines and shattered the bomb doors. However, the veteran B24 was repaired and was one of those famed ships which flew the daring low level strike against the Ploesti oil refineries on 1st August 1943. On that day it was assigned to a crew from 389BG (Lt McGraw) but was shot down over Romania with the loss of six of its crew and three listed as POWs.

The nose art cleverly incorporated Hitler's distinctive features into his simplistic artwork of an ass's rear end -- it was undoubtedly a popular image amongst air and ground crew men. If you have any further knowledge or photographs of this aircraft or its crews please make contact.

Known Mission List

Date Pilot

Target

Notes
25 Aug 1942J R MuehlbergCorinth Canal 
29 Aug 1942J R MuehlbergShipping strikeReturned early - aborted - hydraulics + 2 generators out
5 Sep 1942J R MuelhbergCandia BayShipping strike
25 Sep 1942J R MuehlbergShipping strike#2 eng malfunctioned
3 Oct 1942J R MuehlbergNavarino BayShipping strike
9 Oct 1942J R MuehlbergBenghasi shippingLost #4 supercharger, jettisoned bombs
16 Oct 1942J R MuehlbergBenghasi shippingAbortive due to weather, bombs returned
19 Oct 1942J R MuehlbergBenghasi shippingReturned early - aborted - #3 engine out
28 Oct 1942J R MuehlbergNavarino BayShipping strike
4 Nov 1942C C ClintonBenghasi harbour 
6 Nov 1942Capt J R MuehlbergBenghasi harbour 
10 Nov 1942Capt J M KilgoreBenghasi harbourReturned early - mechanical trouble
23 Nov 1942Capt J R MuehlbergTripoliAbortive due to weather
28 Nov 1942Capt J R MuehlbergTripoli 
2 Dec 1942G E GroffNaples harbourAll 4 engines stopped over sea but restarted
28 Dec 1942Capt J R MuehlbergSousseAborted just prior to target due to oxygen loss
1 Jan 1943Capt J R MuehlbergTunis harbourReturned early - tail turret out, landed at Kabrit
8 Jan 1943Capt J R MuehlbergBizerta shippingrerturbed early -- #1 engine lost oil
15 Jan 1943J D HardenTripoliFlak damage to nose and wing
24 Jan 1943Capt J R MuehlbergPalermo Docks 
31 Jan 1943G R GroffMessina ferry slipway 
3 Feb 1943Capt J R MuehlbergPalermo / Messinareturned early -- #2 supercharger out
13 Feb 1943Capt J R MuehlbergNaples / Palermoreturned early -- gunner sick
23 Feb 1943Capt J R MuehlbergMessina ferry slipwayLost top and tail guns just after target
13 Mar 1943J D HardenNaples harbour 
18 Mar 1943Lt JorgensenNaples harbourReturned early -- #1 and #4 engines out
24 Mar 1943Capt J R MuehlbergMessina ferry slipway 
2 Apr 1943Capt J R MuehlbergNaples harbourReturned early -- crewman suffered epileptic fit
5 Apr 1943Capt J R MuehlbergPalermo 
7 Apr 1943Capt J R MuehlbergPalermoAborted -- lost formation in bad weather
11 Apr 1943Capt J R MuehlbergNaples 
13 Apr 1943Capt J R MuehlbergCatania 
15 Apr 1943Capt J R MuelhbergPalermo 
26 Apr 1943D S WattBari airfield 
28 Apr 1943D S WattMessina ferry terminalOne Me109 claimed destroyed
1 May 1943D S WattReggio harbourAbortive due to weather
4 May 1943D S WattReggio harbour 
21 May 1943D S WattReggio di CalabriaOne Me109 claimed destroyed
25 May 1943C S LookerMessinaReturned early -- #1 engine feathered, smoking and windmilling
7 Jul 1943D C JohnsonGerbini 
11 Jul 1943C W GoodenVibo Valentia 
17 Jul 1943L E MurphyNaplesHit by flak -- 40 holes, hydraulics shot out
1 Aug 1943J J McGraw (389BG)PloestiMISSING -- down in Romania, 6 KIA, 3 POW


© Ray Bowden 26 September 2017