- Posted August 26, 2013 by
Farmingdale, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
The mystique of .."Lady Be Good."
A lot of mystery surrounds the " Lady Be good" aircraft -an American B-24D liberator which flew for the USAF during WW11. It was based at Soluch field in Libya as part of the 514th bomb squadron 376th bomb group.
It set out on a bombing raid to Naples Italy harbor to prevent a Nazi invasion but never succeeded. The plane was assumed to have crashed into the Mediterranean sea and its nine crew members were classified as missing in action.
The crew was on its first combat mission arriving in Libya on March 18th 1943. The aircraft was also new.
The crew took off from Soluch Field on April 4th around 3:00 P.M. one of the last to depart. High winds and poor visibility prevented the plane from joining the main formation of bombers but it continued on its own.
Radio communication to the base got confused and not clear and the plane apparently overflew it's base and did not see the flares. It continued on.
Running into trouble the crew parachuted out thinking the desert floor in the darkness was the open sea. the plane continued on its own.
The nearly intact plane was discovered in the Libya desert about 440 miles inland in 1960. In 1958 Searches recovered all but one of the crew. The plane was broken in two but inside was immaculately preserved, ,machine guns, a radio even food water and drinkable tea.
No human remains were ever found on board or in the surrounding area.
The pilot of the plane 1st LT. William J. Halton was from Whitestone Queens N.Y. which is a short distance from where I live and grew up.
I found out this interesting information about "The Lady Be Good" on a trip to the American Aviation Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale L.I.
Movies were later made about it, one called "Soul Survivor" and a Twilight Zone episode called "King nine will not return." about a B-25 crew member who finds himself alone in the desert with the wreckage of his plane.
A lot of mystery surrounds the saga of "The Lady Be Good."
What do you really think happened?