Lady Be Good (aircraft)
|Date||April 4, 1943|
|Site||Libyan desert |
|Destination||Soluch Airfield or Malta|
|Fatalities||9 (1 initially, 8 subsequently)|
Lady Be Good is a
Investigations concluded that the first-time (all new) crew failed to realize they had overflown their air base in a
In 1943, the Lady Be Good was a new Liberator bomber that had just been assigned to the
The Lady Be Good crew were also new as they had only arrived in Libya a week before on March 18. On their first mission together, they would be flying one of the twenty-five B-24s assigned to bomb the harbor of Naples late in the afternoon of April 4 in a two-part attack. A flight of twelve B-24s would go first followed by a second wave of 13 planes, including the Lady Be Good. After the attack, all planes were expected to return to their bases in North Africa. The crew of the Lady Be Good on the Naples mission were:
The plane, which was one of the last to depart, took off from Soluch Field near Benghazi not long after 3 pm. Almost immediately, high winds and obscured visibility prevented it from joining the main bomber formation so it continued the mission on its own.
The sandstorm led to nine B-24s returning to Soluch leaving four aircraft to continue the operation. But when the Lady Be Good arrived over Naples at 7:50pm at 7,600 m (24,900 ft), poor visibility was obscuring the primary target. Two B-24s attacked their secondary target on the return trip while the other two aircraft dumped their bombs into the Mediterranean to reduce weight and save fuel.
Lady Be Good flew back alone from Italy on its return trip to its home base in Libya. At 12:12 a.m. the pilot, Lt. Hatton, radioed to say his