|Birth: ||Sep., 1919|
|Death: ||Aug. 1, 1943|
Rowland Houston completed four years of college before enlisting as a cadet in the Army Air Corps on 18 Jan 1942. He became a B-24 Pilot and on 6 August 1942 was assigned to the 8th Air Force 44th Bomber Group, 68th Bombardment Squadron (The Flying Eightballs).
In June 1943 the 44th, 93rd and the 389th bomb groups of the 8th Air Force were sent to North Africa (Benina Libya) on temporary duty with two bomb groups of the 9th Air Force for "Operation Tidal Wave". The five B-24 Liberator bomb groups of the combined 8th and 9th were given orders to conduct a low-level attack on the German held Romanian oil Complex at Ploiesti. This meant that, although the B-24 is a high altitude bomber, the attack would be flown at "tree-top" level.
The 44th bomb group destroyed both of it's assigned targets but lost eleven of their thirty-seven planes and crews. Captain Rowland Houston's crew is the only one from the 68th Squadron lost that day. Of the 178 B-24's sent on this mission, 54 were lost. The 44th was awarded its second Distinguished Unit Citation for Operation Tidal Wave and their commander, Colonel Leon W. Johnson, was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Captain Rowland Houston volunteered for this mission even though he had completed his tour of operations. "It was too important for the war effort to miss."
Oscar Elzy Houston (1886 - 1963)
Created by: Dan Woodruff
Record added: Feb 19, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48343160