Veterans of WWII raid holding 70th reunion in Ohio

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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 will arrive Tuesday, gathering for dinner followed by private events Wednesday. AP

DAYTON, Ohio  — 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 (PLOH’-est-ee) Raid reunion at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton will arrive Tuesday, gathering for dinner followed by private events Wednesday. On the raid anniversary Thursday, there will be a public memorial service at the museum, and a chance to meet veterans.

One of the reunion coordinators is Air Force history buff Mark Copeland of Lakeville, Minnesota. He says organizers expect nearly a dozen raid veterans to take part, and survivors of some others are expected.

Nearly a third of their planes were shot down. Five Medals of Honor were awarded.

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