Sep 04-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: September: Sep 04-11
Wreck of the Lady Be Good    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo courtesy US Air Force
Memorial in Lake Linden    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Z_Man
Rest of the story    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Z_Man

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 08:25 am:

This week's Shoebox Memory recalls young Robert Lamotte of Lake Linden, who lost his life in the Libyan desert in 1943. In 2003 the Pasty Cam featured this propeller memorial in Lake Linden, and received requests for more photos, anything current regarding the Lady Be Good. With the crisis in Libya last week, new discoveries are shedding light on the movement of the wreckage from its resting place in the African desert. Recovered photos taken in 2009 reveal that a Libyan General has been caring for the Lady Be Good at a regional air base, and the EAA is now providing an album of these remarkable pictures.

Our thanks to Neil Harri for bringing the breaking news to our attention. You can also learn more about the plane and its crew at

Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend :o)

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 09:09 am:

Thanks Neil and Charlie for the links; they are quite interesting.

If I'm not mistaken, the prop on display in Lake Linden looks like it came off the far right engine judging by how the prop got bent after it crashed.

One thing that I hold dear whenever I see a Liberator is that my Grandmother, who lived in Ypsilanti at the time, worked in Ford's factory at Willow Run that built the Liberators. She told me that she helped build the glass noses on the front of the plane and also conducted some of the final inspections before the planes left for service. I have a couple photos of her and her co-workers. She truly was a "Rosie the Riveter"......

Capt. Paul - Willow Run is mentioned in a number of folk songs about the war effort. Here's one about southern transplants who worked at the factory:

Way Down the Road (verse 1) (download)
Hear (optionally purchase) the whole song

Donna (Donna) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 09:19 am:

Wow..this is incredible history today! Thanks to all...

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 09:53 am:

May this brave crew rest in Peace.

Crew of the Lady Be Good, 1942
Courtesy of the US Air Force

Tom (Tom) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 09:55 am:

Interesting WWII history this morning. Causes me to remember being at Wheelus AFB in the late 1950s.
In 1959 I was passing through just about the time
that airplane was found. Later, in the states, I read about it in news articles. Not as detailed as
the article referred to today.
Must be some bad luck in Libya as we had problems crossing the Mediterrainian to get to Wheelus in a bad storm while flying in a C-119.

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 10:08 am:

The Houghton County Historical Society has published a three-part history of the Lady Be Good in their quarterly newsletter this year. Part of the benefit you would receive by being a member.

USAF Photo
Speaking of newsletters, the Keweenaw County Historical Society also has a regular publication that is always packed with Copper Country memories. Suggestion: Join both societies!
E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 10:16 am:

I first saw the memorial when I was on leave from the Marines before I left for Vietnam.That was a month after the memorial was erected. It is hard to beleive that was only 25 years after WWII and it is now 20 years after the first Gulf war.

EAA stands for the Experimental Aircraft Association, based in Oshkosh, Wi. They host the airshow there in the last week of July every year.
The next show is called Airventure 2012. It is the largest gathering of aircraft in the world.There are 10-12 thousand planes of all sizes flying in from all over the world there.
A good airshow every afternoon too.
Everyone interested in aviation should get there at least once in their lifetimes.
If the EAA can get this plane, they probably would restore it to flying condition. That would be a great project.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 11:27 am:

Strange to see this today because when we were just talking about this with Kosk and her dad when we met them at Lindell's last month. I'm sure they're just as interested as we are in this story today. Thanks!!!!

By jbuck (Jbuck) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 01:40 pm:

Hey Capt Paul ~

My Dad was there with your Grandma building the B-24's Willow Run. He handled the big rivet guns used inside the wings that were too heavy for the ladies. But in the Spring of '44 he just couldn't stay stateside any longer and enlisted ~ the bosses begged him to stay since so few could do the work he was doing. But he was bound to fight for America and ended up in the midlle of the Battle of the Bulge.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 02:43 pm:

jbuck, that's interesting that your dad was in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge. We have the DVD movie depicting was terrible. Hope your dad survived the ordeal!

By jbuck (Jbuck) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 03:09 pm:

Thanks Shirley ~

Yes, he was wounded but never came off the line. Always had problems with his feet as a result of the extremely cold temps too.

I'm an associate member of VBOB (Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge) which honors those who fought in the battle:

By Heikki (Heikki) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 03:18 pm:

What was salvaged from the desert of Lady Be Good now lies in a police compound in Tobruk, Libya. Using Google Earth, one can see a fuselage section and an engine section by clicking on site photo blocks (small blue squares). The satellite view resolution of Tobruk is not high enough to discern those images, so sites of interest are identified in that way.

Here's a whole collection of photos at ground level in Tobrouk

By Heikki (Heikki) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 05:02 pm:

Ahhh, I missed that link on the EAA website. Thx!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 06:18 pm:

Because I have a great interest in aviation and WWII, I enjoyed today's readings! Thank You!

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 07:05 pm:

Best man at my wedding was stationed at Wheelus AFB back when the Libyans wanted us out of there and let the Russians take it over. (Just another piece of trivia)

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 08:09 pm:

Thanks for posting that, jbuck....I'd say those fellas deserve a special honor for what they endured in that battle. Gives me cold chills (no pun intended) every time I watch that movie! Terrible conditions!

By Thomas Wachowski (Skibdr) on Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 10:20 pm:

What a tale - will make it a priority to find that monument in Lake
Linden on next summer's trip to the Keweenaw!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 03:57 pm:

Deb: You're right. I am interested in this story. Took me til today
to catch up on PastyCam for Sept. 4th. My dad, who I just brought
downstate yesterday, will also be fascinated by the story.

By Richard A. Fields (Cherokeeyooper) on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 09:12 am:

The US Army Quartermaster Museum in Petersburg, VA has the original diaries of the men who were involved in this wreck. They are heartbreaking to see.

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