B-24 Liberator story by Jesse Petty now known 59 years later

B-24 Liberator Bomber, the Shady Lady, 59 Years Later.

One More MissionA Journey from Childhood to War Page 11This is a very interesting story.

B-24 Liberator bombardero, el Shady Lady, 59 aos despus.

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Jesse Pettey has found some very interesting information
about his old B-24 Liberator, 59 years later.


by Jesse Pettey

Book Review


B-24 Liberator Bomber Books

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Jesse Pettey's own WW2 B-24 Liberator Bomber, the Shady Lady


WW2 B-24 Liberator Bomber, the Shady Lady

Photo Scanned by C. Jeff Dyrek

This top photo is the original B-24 Liberator Shady Lady 
where the bottom photo is the new Shady Lady B-24 Liberator number 2


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If you enjoy war-time coincidences, this might interest you:

Several weeks ago, while reviewing links to my book website, ONE MORE MISSION, from other B-24 websites, I accidentally came across a photograph of a B-24 named the SHADY LADY.  The nose art work was identical to the painting on my aircraft, also the SHADY LADY -- yet it was a different airplane.  

In 1944, I was ordered to fly a  new B-24 just off the assembly line from San Francisco to Goia, Italy, where it was to  be outfitted for combat, and then to fly it on to our air base near Cerignola, Italy.  The airplane would then be our personal airplane for bombing missions.  While it was being outfitted with guns, bomb rack, and other instruments   during its stay at Goia, our air crew decided to hire a sergeant who was stationed in Goia to paint a photo of a SHADY LADY on either side of the nose of our aircraft.  At that time, crews were very attached to and proud of their airplane.   We flew her on eight missions before another crew, assigned to fly it on 8/24/44, crashed it near Pesaro, Italy.  They  were shot down by flak.  See Photo:

Imagine my surprise when I found a photo of a B-24 with the same nose art but with a different serial number and assigned to a different bomb group.  How was it  possible that a strange and different B-24 would display the same nose art -- that a photo of it would be submitted to the "B-24 Best Website"?  I e mailed the person who had submitted the  photo and asked if he had any information about this aircraft.  He replied that he collects B-24 nose art, mostly from the 10th Air Force, and had no information about this airplane.  He could not even remember how he had acquired this  photo.  See his photo below ( I do not recognize the man in the photo, perhaps he is the sergeant who painted it):

I again went to the website where the photo is displayed and discovered that the B-24 had been attached to the 451st Bomb Group, 727th Squadron of the 15th Air Force.  I was assigned to the 461st Bomb Group, 766th Squadron of the 15th Air Force.  Upon further research, I found that the 451st Bomb Group was stationed in Goia, Italy and had flow many missions with my bomb group.  It then became apparent to me that -- not only was it possible but more than likely  -- the same sergeant, who was also stationed in Goia, had painted both airplanes -- no doubt using the same stencil for  both.  Of course, he was not supposed to do that since we had paid him to paint our aircraft with an original painting and had believed it was original for all these many years.  But during wartime, who would ever discover his betrayal of our  trust?  I did but, 

Not until 59 years later!  


 (I wish I had know this and written about it in my book, ONE MORE MISSION, before publishing it).

Jesse Pettey

Write to Jesse Pettey here

Click Here's another real good B-24 Liberator link and story

Read about the B-24 Liberators in the 8th Air Force in WW2


Jesse Pettey

To Order this Book 

One More Mission: A Journey from Childhood to War
by Jesse Pettey

I really enjoyed reading about this young boy's life in east Texas during the Depression. Gives one a good idea of what life was really like back then. The small town boy then grows up to go fight in a world war as a bomber pilot. Interesting accounts of each mission he flew over Europe. A well-written book.

By  Hughes J Glantzberg

With a special interest in World War II and the 461st Bombardment Group in particular, I found this book excellent. Most of the men who fought during WWII were in their late teens and early 20s. It's amazing to be able to read about their activities.

By  Joseph Donnelly

I highly recommend this book for readers of any age. However it was particularly interesting to me as a fellow member of the same squadron and group. We were both on many of the same missions and his recollections matched my own. An excellent contrast of what bomb raids were like in those days with 700-800 bombers compared to more precision bombing done today with far, far fewer planes. The first half of the book describes life in the 20's, 30's and 40's in Texas. Although my experiences were in NJ many were similar and for those not living in those times a glimpse of what it was like.

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Made of Philippine mahogany, this 1/72 scale model measures 12" in length and has a  wingspan of 18½". Hand painted and detailed, model comes ready to display on the  included mahogany base.



Interesting Books that you can buy 
Book Description
The Consolidated
B-24 Liberator first saw combat in June of 1942, making a daring raid into Nazi-occupied Romania to bomb the oil fields at Ploesti. Nearly 18,500 Liberators were built during the war years, making it by far the most-produced American combat aircraft. It served in many roles beyond heavy bomber, transport, and anti-submarine patrol, and flew in Africa, Europe, India, the Atlantic, India and the Pacific Theatre. Originally printed by the United States Army Air Force in 1942, the B-24 Liberator Pilot's Flight Operating Manual taught pilots everything they needed to know before entering the cockpit. Originally classified "Restricted", the manual was declassified long ago and is here reprinted in book form. This affordable facsimile has been reformatted, and color images appear as black and white. Care has been taken however to preserve the integrity of the text.
1855327813B-24 Liberator Units of the Pacific War 

Born out of an approach made by the US Army Air Corps to Consolidated for a bomber with superior performance to the B-17, the  Liberator was built in record numbers as the Allies' most abundant heavy bomber. From the first to see combat, the B-24D, to the  ultimate Liberator, the heavily modified PB4Y-2 Privateer, all navy versions are featured in this, the first of four volumes on the B-24  family. 

Book Description
Ever present in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor to VJ-Day, the B-24 Liberator proved to be the staple heavy bomber of the campaign. From its ignominious beginnings in the Allied rout in the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies, the bomber weathered the Japanese storm with a handful of bomb groups, which played a crucial role in checking the enemy's progress firstly in New Guinea, and then actively participating in the 'island hopping' campaign through the south-west Pacific.

ie=UTF8&location=http:// amazone.com/s?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=B-24+Nose+Art+Name+Directory&Go.x=11&Go.y=11&tag=&linkCode=ur2&ca" target="_blank"> B-24 Liberator Nose Art Name Directory
  B-24 Liberator Nose Art Name Directory

Forman.  A companion to the same author's B-17 nose art and name directory. This  volume details the Group, Squadron, serial number and photo availability of over  9,000 WWII B-24 Liberators. Great for the historian, researcher and model builder. 32   pages of vintage photos. 8½"x 11", 192 pgs., sfbd.

A must for B-24 Liberator Buffs! Wally has expanded his format to include data on AF Wings and their component bomb groups for most of the USAAF. His B-17 Nose Art Directory was concerned with the 8th, 15th, and 20th AFs. And rather than searching the total list for group aircraft he has listed the a/c assigned to each group by group number. Definitely a source book for important data (names, serial numbers, photo availability) on this aircraft.

Click Here for B-24 Liberator Exhibits.  One More Mission
by Jessie Petty

Click Here for the Willow Run Exhibit, Production of the B-24 Liberator, by Warren B. Kidder


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