World Battlefronts: PLOESTI AFLAME

A "Tail-End Charley" (last plane of a flight) caught this picture of flaming Ploesti during the U.S. raid on the Rumanian oil center which supplies vital fuel to Germany (TIME, Aug. 9). Delayed-action bombs had not yet exploded when the camera clicked, but incendiaries had started a network of fires. The U.S. Liberators dropped 300 tons of high explosive and thousands of incendiaries from as low as 100 ft. Planes flew through sheets of flame, emerged covered with soot, while gunners dueled with rooftop anti-aircraft and saw people waving from the streets. Losses were high — but so was the...