97th Bomb Grp, 15th Air Force
Ploesti Raid, Romania
23 June 1944

kingsley2Lt Kingsley was flying as bombardier of a B17 aircraft on a run over the Ploesti Oil fields north of Bucharest Romania.

Kingsley’s aircraft was shredded by anti-Aircraft fire and forced to drop out of formation but the pilot continued to the target area where 2d Lt. Kingsley successfully dropped his bombs destroying his targets.

The lost most of its aerodynamic qualities making it slow and sluggish.

They lagged behind without fighter escort and limped toward home.  – A prime target for enemy fighters.

3 ME-109s  jumped the Lone B-17 causing even more damage to the aircraft and wounding the tail gunner in the upper arm.

2Lt. Kingsley responded to administer first aid to his gunner.

The tail gunner’s parachute harness and heavy clothes were removed and he was covered with blankets, making him as comfortable as possible.

Eight more  ME-109s attacked Kingsley’s aircraft wounding the  ball turret gunner with 20mm fragments. 2 Lt. Kingsley administered first aid.

A few minutes later when the pilot gave the “bail out order” the old girl just wasn’t gonna get them home.

2Lt. Kingsley immediately helped the two wounded gunners prepare  bailout –  but the Tail Gunners harness had been lost in the confusion of the attacks. The gunners thermal clothing had been removed to administer medical aid – it was also gone.

With complete disregard for his own means of safe egress, Kingsley removed his own parachute harness and put it on the wounded tail gunner.

2Lt. Kingsley then aided the wounded men bail-out through the bomb doors and was last seen alive standing on the bomb bay catwalk. His body was later found in the wreckage.

2Lt David R. Kingsley freely gave his own life to save his wounded brothers.

No greater love.


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