Click on Pictures Below for Much Larger
B-24 Liberator, "Tulsamerican"
The Very Last B-24 Liberator to be built
in Tulsa Oklahoma.
Willow Run Ford KD
kit B-24J-10-DT #42-51430
"Tulsamerican" begins at Douglas-Tulsa.
L to R: Ina Overstreet, C.D.
Pitts, Marguerite Foster, C.W.
Kilgore. Inside: Clara W. Campbell
During WW II, in 1941, before
Pearl Harbor, Ford
converted a company farm in Willow Run, Michigan to a factory to produce the
B-24 bomber. Over one million parts went together to get one completed. At
peak production they were coming off the
assembly line 24/7 at
the rate of one every 55 minutes. If it wasn't for
Henry Ford and the
amazing employees at the plant, you may not be reading this today.
This plane, the Tulsamerican, was a kit that was built at Willow Run
Michigan, then sent to Tulas Oklahoma for it's final assembly.
I was the navigator on the Bill Donald crew, whose
photo appears on your home page with the Tulsamerican, which we ferried over to
Italy. I'm the first one from the left in the standing row. I lost contact with
Bill about two years ago. Do you have any suggestions for trying to, locate him?
Send me an email here
12 June 2010
Hi Jeff. My name is Al DeBoover. I`m trying to find out about my uncle who was a
pilot of a B-24 bomber in WWII. All I have found out so far is that he was
stationed in England, he flew a B-24, and he was shot down and killed in April
1944. He was 23 years old. Do you know who I can contact to find out information
about him and his service record? Where in England he was stationed, what his
bombing mission was when he was shot down, etc.? Any information you can give me
would be very appreciated. Thank you. Al DeBoover
Yeah it's solved:
1Lt Albert G. Ripley, nav, 446 BG, 704BS, KIA 11 April 1944 @ Lohne, Germany (Vechta,
B-24 #42-9942=B-24J--55-CO, built at Consolidated San Diego, CA "Brown Knowser"
Wallace R. Forman's "B-24 Nose Art Name Directory" does not have a photo
Oh my gosh I can`t believe all the information you`ve come up with! It answers
so many questions. I asked my mom about the birth date and she confirmed that
it`s right. When I asked her about whether he was a pilot or navigator she
thought they were the same thing. So that also clears up a lot of questions.
Phillip Westcott who survived the crash apparently stopped in and visited my
grandparents many years ago and assured my grandmother that Uncle Bud was
killed. She had spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying about him because she
didn`t think he was dead -that he`d been taken prisoner and tortured. The MACR-
if you think it will reveal any more information then yes go ahead and order it.
As far as having his remains shipped back, my Mom didn`t seem too kean on the
idea. She had another brother who served in WWII in the Pacific theater who made
it back but suffered a lot of physiological problems for years after and with
Uncle Bud`s death it was a very bad time for the family and she doesn`t want to
go there again. Just knowing where he is-that there is actually a grave site-
brings me a great amount of relief. I`ve always felt bad knowing he was over
there alone. Wow I`ve got a lot of reading and writing to do now! I want to get
it down in printed form before I lose it all. To actually read about the events
as they occurred that day is far more than I ever could have imagined! I can`t
thank you enough for everything. I`ve learned more today than I have in the last
2 years of looking and I`ll be sure to pass this on to the family. If you find
out any more let me know-I find this whole era so fascinating. Thank you again.
Daddy, Saw your piece on the TA and saw that my cousins
name was spelled incorrectly - Jandry instead of Landry. Son Batdude.
Hi Jeff and Ben,
Willow Run B-24s--another Ford Willow Run KD kit assembled by
Douglas-Tulsa was B-24J-1-DT,
#42-51226, "I Walk
Alone". #226 was assigned to the 8th AF, 482nd BG, 36th RCM (Radar
Counter Measures) Squadron attached to 100th Group RAF. #226 (Sq code R4-L)
was on a nighttime spoofing mission on 10 November 1944. At 0200hrs the
566th and 563rd SAW (Signals Aircraft Warning Sqs.-- Hattonville) vectored
in error a 425th NFS P-61 to the B-24's location. The
P-61 destroyed #226's
#4 engine and damaged #3. #226 crashed at about 0230 about 1,000 yards
north of Tincourt-Boucly, Dept of the Somme, France. Three crewmen died in
B-24J-5-FO #42-51546 was replaced #226 was painted
with the same serial number and nickname.
Aerospace historian and author
Willis "Sam" Cole Jr. (www.ww1.org)
has spent over sixteen years researching and made over forty field trips to
France to verify his thesis that the shoot down of #226 was covered
up. On 9 November 1944, 15 1/2 hours before and 138 miles from where #226
crashed, a 452nd BG, 729th Sq. B-17G-35VE #42-97904
"The Lady Jeannette"
badly damaged by flak and fighters, had failed in its attempt to land at the
emergency French airstrip A-72.
The B-17 slammed into the ground and
exploded. Author Cole maintains that the B-17's crash was transposed in
flight history and location to cover the crash of #226. The bodies of the
dead airmen from the B-17 were moved to #226's crash site.
Author Cole has
published two books, THE
LAST FLIGHT OF THE LADY JEANNETTE
and THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF
WWII which give considerable credence that a "cover up" spiraled
upwards through the 9th AF and reached General Eisenhower and was link to
the "accidental" death of General Patton.
Perhaps there is room for the inclusion of Mr. Cole's
research and conclusions into the body of the forthcoming movie "Willow
The Last Flight Of The Lady Jeannette
The Last Flight of the Lady Jeannette is
outstandingly researched by Mr. Cole. The Book resolves around a legend of a
grave located in Cartigny, France with a stone cross headstone that reads
'American Aviator-Unknown-23 November 1944'(in French) Normally all American
remains of WWII are buried in a American Cemetery overseas or sent home at next
of kin request. Mr. Cole based the book kind of like a autobiography during his
research. He is a WWI enthusiast who stumbled upon this grave in Cartingy,
France and became determined to find out whose remains are in this grave. His
research leads him to many people and to many places in the United States and
France. He finds a secret that has been kept for 50 years which involves two
Medal of Honor winners. The grave holds the remains of four Airmen of the B-17
Bomber 'The Lady Jeannette' Today Mr. Cole had placed a Monument at the grave
identifying these 4 men who died for their country in a horrible way and at the
crash site. These four men also have official graves in the states and at an
American Cemetery in France which gives the book a good twist of reading. The
book is almost set up like a mystery which does keep you interested even while
he goes thru his routine of visiting WWI places and giving a book tour of the
WWI battlefield areas. This could get boring if you are not a history buff or a
military history buff at that. The book is good reading for both WWII and WWI
Saluting a Job Well Done,
Douglas employees bid farewell the the "Tulsamerican."
the last B-24 to roll off the Tulsa Assembly Line, August 1944
The Tulsamerican Nose Art
Click Here's some of the names that are signed on the aircraft.
L. Miller, F. G. Mochlcakamp, Tulsa,
Okla. E. Walker, Okla.
LG. Wleylen, 20 West 1st H. Tulsa Oklahoma.
J. L. Scott, 503 So. Harvard, Tulsa, Okla.
Elaine Connelas. J. Walker 6409 E ??, Tulsa.
Dave Calvert, Floyd Lowes
Mans Badge Number 21891
From the Webmaster. This is the best that I can
do trying to read the signatures printed on this aircraft.
But click on the photo and look at the rivets very closely. You will
notice that the rivets are not drilled straight
and, by today's standards, this plane would not pass any inspection for
aircraft quality. These rivets just had to be
close and that was it. This shows the difference in the technology of
yesterdays aircraft and today's.
Now the rivets on modern aircraft are flush mounted and perfectly straight.
Also, even more advanced,
there are no rivets, instead many components are either welded or bonded.
As far as stealth,
every rivet is a radar reflection point.
William Donald crew flew Tulsamerican to
The 461st Bomb Group, 765th Bomb Squadron
"The Tulsamerican" Ship Number 24
S/N 42-51430. White Cowling, Red Tails.
B-24J-10-DT #42-51430. 15th AF, 461st
BG, 765 BS.
Ford KD Kit arrived 7 July 1944 by truck
convoy @ Doulas-Tulsa.
Adriatic Sea @ 1412hrs Sunday, 17 December 1944.
Pilot 1Lt. Eugene P. Ford,
Navagator Lt. Russell Landry,
Flight Engineer SSgt. Charles
Priest went down with the B-24.
Daddy, Saw your piece on the TA and saw that my cousins name was spelled
incorrectly - Jandry instead of Landry. Son Batdude
B-24J - The Tulsamerican - S/N 42-51430-15 AAF, 461 B.G., 765 Sq. -
Crashed in the Adriatic
Sea Mission 151 - 17 December 1944. Last B-24 built by Douglas Tulsa
AAF Plant - Still aboard her
is Pilot, Lt. Eugene Ford, Navigator,
Lt. Russell C. Jandry, and Flight
Engineer, SSgt. Charles Priest.
|Flight of the B-24J-10-DT, "The Tulsamerican", from the USA to Italy.
The William Donald Crew was assigned the aircraft at Topeka, Kansas
beginning September 9, 1944. Two hours were
pun in calibrating "The Tulsamerican" instruments
Sept. 16 - Flew from Topeka to Grenier, New Hampshire.
Sept. 17 - To Gander, New Foundland.
Sept. 20 - To Lagens, Azores
Sept. 22 - To Maraketch, Africa
Sept. 25 - To Tunis, Africa
Sept 27 - To Giola, Italy and turned in the Tulsamerican.
Oct 2001, Springfield, IL. L to
R: Paul Beard, John Bybee,
Norma "Joy" (Ford) Beard.
Norma was six months old when her father
1Lt. Eugene P. Ford was killed
aboard the "Tulsamerican"
blade and wheel off the
461st B-24J "Tulsamerican"
lost off Hvar on 17 Dec 1944.
Here for North Pole Global Warming
Click Here's another Book
Review about a B-24 Pilot in WW2, Jessie Pettey,
One More Mission, A Journey from Childhood to War.
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