The crew of the bomber B-24 «Lady Be Good», which crashed in the Libyan desert.
The crew of the bomber B-24 «Lady Be Good» 514 th Bomb Squadron 375th Bomb Group.
The aircraft was lost while returning to base after a bombing of the port facilities in the harbor of Naples (Italy), April 4, 1943.
It was discovered only 9 November 1958, when British geologists flying over the Libyan desert in 640 km to the south of the city Saluh (Soluch), noticed the broken plane on the ground. Overland expedition reached in March of 1959. On board there were no crew members themselves, nor their parachutes. It was clear that the crew had left the car in the air. Unmanaged plane landed safely after driving more than 600 meters along the sand, while the fuselage is not split in two. On the whole plane, taking into account the damage caused by the accident and the long-term presence in the desert, well preserved. The radio station and machine guns were in working order tea in a thermos has been found suitable for drinking.
It was found that the plane was blown off course during the return to the base and flew about 600 kilometers into the Libyan desert. When the plane started running out of gas (engine number 1, 2 and 3 left off), the crew left the car. One member of the crew parachute did not open and he died. The rest came together on the ground and tried to get to the nearest town. They believed that they are not far from the coast of the sea, but actually get to him they did not have a chance.
The bodies of eight crew members were found in the desert in 1960. Five of them were about 80 miles (129 kilometers) from the place of landing parachutes – exhausted pilots, having such a distance, stopped, unable to continue the path, and three more are able to go off in search of help, but it never came – Ripslinger died in the desert 21 miles (33 km) from them, and Shelley was then able to get another 11.5 miles (18 km). The body of the ninth crew member (Moore) has not been found (there is a report that in 1953 a British patrol discovered in the desert in the same area of human remains and buried them – perhaps it was Moore).
Entries Lieutenant Robert Toner said that the crew covered a distance of 130 km in 5 days on the 55-degree heat. Three pilots who went on, lived for three days. Many experts acquainted with the case, saying that these people do not have to survive in such conditions for more than two days, after food and water were on the plane, which fell about 25 kilometers south of the place of landing, the pilots parachuted and was not detected by them as they went in the opposite direction – to the north, to the sea.
From left to right:
1st Lt. William Hutton (William J. Hatton) – pilot;
2nd Lt. Robert Toner (Robert F. Toner) – co-pilot;
2nd Lt. Dipi Hayes (DP Hays) – co-driver;
2nd Lt. John Voravka (John S. Woravka) – scorer (parachute did not open);
Technician Sergeant Harold Ripslinger (Harold J. Ripslinger) – Engineer;
Technician Sergeant Robert LaMotta (Robert E. LaMotte) – Radio Operator;
Sergeant Shelley Guy (Guy E. Shelly) – the arrows;
Sergeant Vernon Moore (Vernon L. Moore) – arrows (body not recovered);
Sergeant Samuel Adams (Samuel E. Adams) – arrows.