TRUE STORY: On April 4, 1943, the young, green crew of the “Lady Be Good,” (a B-24 Liberator) took off from an American air base on it’s way to a bombing air-raid over Naples, Italy. 25 Liberators were sent, 24 returned. Fifteen years later, the perfectly-preserved missing bomber was spotted in the Libyan desert with no sign of the crew.
Two British Geologists peer out the window of their Dakota aircraft; their eyes sweep the desert floor below. Within the desolate terrain, an object commands their attention; a downed aircraft. They’re riveted, as planes rarely fly over the Southeast Libyan desert. On a closer pass, they make out the name of the B-24…. LADY BE GOOD.
17 years earlier to the day on April 1, 1943, a young, eager crew of nine arrived in Soluch, Libya; one of several rough, sand-blasted airstrips around Benghazi. (The base is near the Mediterranean, backed by desert). Until their first flight, there was nothing to distinguish the Lady Be Good, or her crew apart from any other.
On April 4, on her first combat flight, fate or blind chance takes the Lady in hand. From the beginning, the Naples bombing mission goes wrong. Sand clogs the engines of many bombers, causing most to return home with mechanical failure. The Lady struggles on, but finds the target too dark for bombing. Four hours later, they break radio silence to ask for a bearing. They are given a 330 degree bearing, which presumably, puts him over the Mediterranean, on a straight line toward home.
But the Lady vanishes…
Their struggle for survival would begin one of history’s strangest mysteries – and one of the most compelling tales of courage to come out of WWII.
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