I caught a great documentary on the History channel a little while ago about a "Rookie" crewed B-24 that disappeared during a bombing mission on Naples Harbor, Italy in April of 1943.
During its return home the crew evidently became lost, unknowingly proceeding over their base and ended up flying deep into the Libyan Desert where it consequently ran out of fuel and crashed.
The aircraft remained undiscovered until the 16th May 1958, when British surveyors for "BP" overflew the remarkably intact wreck of a B-24 deep inside the Libyan Desert.
US forces at Wheelus Air Base, Tripoli were informed of the discovery, but apparently little attention was paid, due to the fact that no US aircraft ever operated anywhere near the location of the indicated crashsite.
A second team of British prospectors overflew the crashsite again on the 15th of June the same year, only this time the RAF was contacted in the hope of having more "pull" in contacting the relevant US authorities to have the wreck investigated. But again, no interest was paid.
There again the wreck continued to sit until February of 1959.
The same British oil prospectors had sent a survey team in on the ground this time, and were not too far from the crashsite that had been plotted earlier. A decision was made to investigate the crashsite before they returned to there base of operations.
So after 16 years the Lady Be Good was finally rediscovered...in remarkably good condition, and relatively intact.
The prospectors collected a number of items from the crashsite that could prove without a doubt to the US authorities that it was indeed a USAAF wreck and warranted further investigation.
Four months later, in June of 1959 the US authorities finally organized an investigation of the site.
It was determined that the crew had bailed out once the aircraft ran out of fuel, with all but one surviving the jump.
The aircraft...pilotless...came down intact, only breaking its back!
It wasnââ‚¬™t until a second search team was sent, in the early 60's that the true fate of the crew became known.
Evidently, they had proceeded on foot and attempted to walk out, but headed in the wrong direction.
(Markers were found made of parachutes and harnesses indicating the direction they had set off in)
They survived for just over a week before the harsh elements of the Libyan Desert finally caught up with them. Without food or water and exposed to the heat of the sun,one by one they died.
A brief diary of what happened was found amongst the remains of one of the crew members.
Sorry I donââ‚¬™t remember the name of the doco
For more info and pictures, check out this site:
Itââ‚¬™s quite a sad but interesting tale, and I thought that one of you talented guys might like to do a skin representing her, in memory of an unknown bomber crew that died during the Second World War.
Edit: The programe was...
History's Mysteries - Ghost Plane of the Desert: "Lady Be Good."