The World War II Photo of the Week
for 4 February 2002
|88 Liberators Totaled in One Shot ...
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius on March 22, 1944 caused more physical damage to the 340th Bombardment Group at one time than a German air raid on their base in Corsica would inflict two months later. Indeed, 88 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers of the group's four squadrons (stationed at the time in Pompeii) were covered in hot ash which burned off the fabric control surfaces and glazed the Plexiglas. Many planes were tipped onto their tails from the weight of the ash. All 88 planes were completely written off. The incredible amount of ash is clearly evident in this photo, which comes to us courtesy of Giuseppe Versolato and Dominique Taddei, via The 489th Bombardment Squadron Web Site.