File:The Sandman a B-24 Liberator, piloted by Robert Sternfels.jpg

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Captions and Titles from Published Works
  • 2003: One of the most famous images of World War II shows The Sandman, piloted by Robert Sternfels, as it emerges from a pall of smoke during the TIDALWAVE mission.[1]
  • 2002: The Sandman barely clears the stacks of the Astra Romana refinery.[2]
  • 1944 (unreversed):Note 1 HITLERS NO. [sic] 1 oil source, Ploesti, Rumania, was bombed Aug. 1, 1943, by a large force (177) of B-24s which came in at smokestack level, braved oil and bombs exploding close beneath them to hit refineries, tanks, cracking plants. 53 aircraft and 660 air crewmen were lost.[3]
Source National Museum of the US Air Force
Author Jerry J. Joswick, the only survivor of the 16 cameramen of the operation[4]
(Reusing this file)
Public domain
This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain in the United States.

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Other versions

This is one of a series of photos that Joswick took from an aircraft ahead of the Sandman, e.g., Stout shows "Another view of The Sandman as Robert Sternfels brings it clear of the target."[1]

Note 1: As with most versions of this image, the current and previous Wikipedia Commons versions are reversed, as a differing description based on Sternfels' memoir[5] states (bold font added):
  • Robert Sternfels' B-24D, Sandman, pulling away from Astra Romana just clearing the triple stacks having lifted his starboard wing to avoid the [sic] stack. (The attached pic [sic] is shown in reverse of the actual position of the A/C.)[6]


  1. a b Stout, Jay A () Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil Supply (html), p. 318 Retrieved on .
  2. Duga, James; Stewart, Carroll (2002—revised edition) Ploesti: The Great Ground-Air Battle of 1 August, 1943 (html—Google books),, p. 135 Retrieved on . ISBN: 1-57488-510-3.
  3. Arnold, H. H. (Foreward); Army Air Forcees Aid Society (copyright) (June 1944—Special Edition for AAF Organizations) [May 1944] AAF: The Official Guide to the Army Air Forces, a Directory, Almanac and Chronicle of Achievements, New York: Pocket Books, p. 305
  4. Joswick, Jerry () Combat Cameraman, New York: Pyramid Books
  5. Way, Frank; Sternfels, Major Robert () [2001—paperback] Burning Hitler's Black Gold (7th ed.)
  6. Puhl, Steve (2009). Seek Ploesti Riad Aug 1, 43 Book (html). AAF Forum. of World War II. Retrieved on 2009-04-19.

File history

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current19:43, 17 April 2009Thumbnail for version as of 19:43, 17 April 20091,800 × 1,596 (247 KB)Hohum (talk | contribs)Levels.
03:22, 28 December 2007Thumbnail for version as of 03:22, 28 December 20071,800 × 1,596 (463 KB)Anynobody~commonswiki (talk | contribs){{Information |Description=B-24 Liberator at low altitude over Ploesti, August 1943 |Source=USAF |Date=08/01/1943 |Author=USAF |Permission= |other_versions= }}
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