93BG Ball Of Fire III/WarBaby

8th Air Force, 328 BS. 93BG.

Letter to St. Peter

"BALL OF FIRE III / aka  WAR BABY" was a veteran from the famous low level raid against the Romanian oil fields (Ploesti) in August, 1943.

  According to "Teds Flying Circus", the name "BALL OF FIRE " and "BALL OF FIRE II" were planes piloted by (then) Capt. Joe Tate of  the 8th American Air Force located in North Africa bases, with Tate flying III/ Warbaby  at the low level Ploesti mission in August in 1943. At this time it was his third aircraft and named "BALL OF FIRE III".

Tate was elevated to Lt. status after thr Ploesti raid and assumed the commander of the 93BG up until Dec., 22 1943 when he was KIA on a mission over Osnabruck's rail center in Germany on board. I don't know if Tate was exempt from flying after becoming a CO but it took allot of courage to climb aboard those planes every morning knowing the odds were against the them.

Her crew on this final mission, November 18, 1943, after receiving damage from attacking Me-109's
(after the Hjeller-Oslo, Norway mission):

Pilot - Lt. Frank Kilcheski
Co-Pilot - Lt. Robert A. Hill
Navigator - Lt. Walter H. Sills
Bombardier - Lt. Abe H. Shonier
Engineer - Sgt. Glenn A. Corn
Radioman - Sgt. Edward J. Donnelly
Gunner - Sgt. Dan Cairns
Gunner - Sgt. James Nichols
Gunner - Sgt. Bertil Carlson
Gunner - Sgt. Bob Bryce

On  her left side, it shows a burning billiard ball with no. 8 (as in  the Eighth Air Force), and at the top of the ball you can see the two bandits, "Hirohito and Hitler", being symbolically executed. Barely visible is the name  "BALL OF FIRE III".

An interesting detail is that "WAR BABY" was flown by Capt. Joe Tate at the low level Ploesti mission in August the same year. At this time it was his third aircraft and named "BALL OF FIRE III".

Later, after the aircraft received a new crew, the new crew decided to also give her a new name (this time "WAR BABY") but still with the old name and nose art work visible on the left side of the nose.