History of the Stained Glass Window at Chapel 2
Crew of the Lady Be Good from the left:
1st Lt. William J. Hatton - pilot
Whitestone, New York
2nd Lt. Robert F. Toner - co-pilot
North Attleborough, Massachusetts
2d Lt. D.P. Hays - navigator
Lee's Summit, Missouri
2d Lt. John S. Woravka - bombardier
T/Sgt. Harold J. Ripslinger - flight engineer
T/Sgt. Robert E. LaMotte - radio operator
Lake Linden, Michigan
S/Sgt. Guy E. Shelley - gunner
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
S/Sgt. Vernon L. Moore - gunner (body not recovered)
New Boston, Ohio
S/Sgt. Samuel E. Adams - gunner
The window in the foyer of the Kittyhawk Chapel, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is a replica of the stained glass window from the Chapel at Wheelus Air Force Base, Libya, commemorating the courage of the crew of the B-24 LADY BE GOOD who perished in the desert in 1943. Funds for the design and manufacture of the original window at Wheelus were donated by USAF personnel of the 7272nd Air Base Wing, Wheelus Air Force Base in 1960.
U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet
"LADY BE GOOD"
At 2:50 p.m. on April 4, 1943, 25 B-24Ds of the 376th Bomb Group took off from their AAF base at Soluch, Libya, for a high-altitude bombing attack against harbor facilities at Naples, Italy. All planes but one returned safely to Allied territory that night -- the one missing was the "Lady Be Good."
Almost 16 years later on Nov. 9, 1958, several British geologists were flying over the desolate, sun-baked Libyan Desert. At approximately 400 miles south of Soluch, they spotted an aircraft on the sand. A ground party that reached the site in March 1959 discovered the plane to be a B-24D. The "Lady Be Good" had been found.
Evidence at the site indicated that the crew had become lost in the dark on return from Naples and had flown over their base and southward into the desert. As their fuel supply became depleted, the nine men aboard had bailed out but had disappeared while attempting to walk northward to civilization.
Intensive searches were made for clues as to the fate of the crew, and in 1960 the remains of eight were found, one near the plane and the other seven far to the north. Five had trekked 78 miles across the tortuous sand before perishing and one had gone an amazing 109 miles. In addition, they had lived eight days rather than only two expected of men in this area with little or no water. The body of the ninth man was never found.
Numerous parts from the "Lady Be Good" were returned to the U.S. for technical study. Also, some parts were installed in other aircraft, which then experienced unexpected difficulties. A C-54 in which several autosyn transmitters were installed had propeller trouble and made a safe landing only by throwing cargo overboard. A C-47 in which a radio receiver was installed ditched in the Mediterranean, and a U.S. Army "Otter" airplane in which a "Lady Be Good" seat armrest was installed crashed in the Gulf of Sidra with 10 men aboard. No trace was found of any of them; one of the few pieces washed ashore was the armrest of the "Lady Be Good."