he crew of the bomber B-24 «Lady Be Good» 514 th Bombardment Squadron 375th Bomber Group.
The plane disappeared while returning to base after the bombing of 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 at 640 km south of the city Saluh (Soluch), observed on the ground washout. Land expedition reached him in March 1959. On board there were no crew members themselves, not their parachutes. It was clear that the crew had left the car in the air. Unguided aircraft successfully landed, traveling more than 600 feet in the sand, while the fuselage is not broke in two. In general, aircraft, subject to damage from the accident and long-term presence in the desert, well preserved. Radio and machine guns were in working condition, found in tea thermos was fit for drinking.
It was found that the plane was off course when returning to the base and flew about 600 km deep into the Libyan desert. When the plane started to run out of fuel (engine number 1, 2 and 3 stop), the crew left the car. One crew member parachute did not open, and he died. Others gathered on the ground and tried to reach the nearest settlement. They believed that they are not far from the seashore, but actually get to him they had no chance.
The bodies of eight crew members were found in the desert in 1960. Five of them were about 80 miles (129 km) from the place of landing parachutes - exhausted pilots, having such a distance, stopped, unable to continue the journey, and three more are able to go off in search of help, but it never came - Ripslinger died in wilderness in the 21 mile (33 km) from them, and Shelley was then able to pass another 11.5 miles (18 km). The body of the ninth crew member (Moore) was not 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 in the diary of Lieutenant Robert Toner suggests that the crew had covered a distance of 130 km in 5 days of 55-degree heat. The three pilots who went on, stayed for three days. Many experts, acquainted with the affair, saying that these people were not supposed to survive in such conditions, more than two days, after food and water remained in the plane that crashed 25 kilometers south of the landing by parachute pilots and was not detected by them as they went in the opposite direction - north, toward the sea