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7/31/2013 12:44:00 PM
Raid Reunion: Raiders of 'Hitler's gas station' reunite in Ohio
In this Aug. 1, 1943 file photo, a U.S. Army Air Force B-24 Liberator flies with plumes of black smoke rising from bombed facilities of the Astro Romano oil refinery at Ploiesti, Romania. Veterans of a daring and costly World War II low-flying raid on Axis oil fields are gathering in southwest Ohio this week for a 70th anniversary reunion. Those participating in the Ploesti Raid reunion at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio arrived Tuesday, gathering for dinner followed by private events today.AP Photo, File
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In this Aug. 1, 1943 file photo, a U.S. Army Air Force B-24 Liberator flies with plumes of black smoke rising from bombed facilities of the Astro Romano oil refinery at Ploiesti, Romania. Veterans of a daring and costly World War II low-flying raid on Axis oil fields are gathering in southwest Ohio this week for a 70th anniversary reunion. Those participating in the Ploesti Raid reunion at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio arrived Tuesday, gathering for dinner followed by private events today.
AP Photo, File

CINCINNATI (AP) — Surviving veterans and relatives are trading memories in Ohio about the attack on “Hitler’s gas station” that produced a fierce World War II battle marked by bravery and sacrifice.

The 70th anniversary Ploesti (PLOH’-es-tee) Raid reunion at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton commemorates an Aug. 1, 1943, assault by waves of B-24 bombers on oil refineries in Romania. Sweeping in at what a veteran calls “corn-high” levels against German firepower, nearly a third of the planes and their men didn’t make it back to North Africa bases.

Ninety-two-year-old Bob Rans recalls being bathed in gasoline in a burning plane before parachuting out. He says it’s emotional to consider the raid’s place in history as the most-decorated action of the war.

Participants viewed a restored B-24today. On the raid anniversary Thursday, there will be a public memorial service at the museum, and a chance to meet veterans.


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