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John Bybee B-24 Liberator, Construction, Operation, WW2 and History Research Home Page.

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The Pistol Packin Mama B-17 and it's Crew

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764 Bomber Squadron B-24 Liberators

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Robert Galvan 461st Bomb Group B-24 Liberator

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B-24 Liberator #66 15th Air Force

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Jack Cody, Mission 151 Odertal Germany B-24 Liberator

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William Zumsteg Airplane Crash B-24 Liberator

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The Peace Maker B-24 Liberator #41

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B-24 Liberator "I Walk Alone" in World War 2

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B-24 Liberator "Judy R" WW2

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The Last B-24 Liberator Made in Tulsa, Tulsamerican

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One More Mission, A Journey From Childhood to War

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Willow Run, B-24 Liberator Production Plant

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Polish Air Force B-24 Liberator

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German Top Secret Rocket Program

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Arab Israeli War 1948 John Augarten Pilot

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B-47 Stratojet "Ajax 18"

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Cold War, 25th Bomber Squadron, The Executioners

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Bob LaFara B-24 Liberators at Iwo Jima, Saipan, Oahu, Kwajalein.
My World War II Experiences in the Pacific

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 B-24 Liberator Movies     B-24 Liberator Aviation Art 

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This is the B-24 Liberator Model that Started all of my B-24 and Aviation Research, John Bybee

Click Here's the Liberator model that started it all with me and military aviation history research.  John Bybee.


 Click Here's the Liberator that started it all with me and military aviation history.  I would guess around 1954/1955 the old man stopped for a beer at some bar in Canton, IL.  I locked onto the completed model of "Buffalo Bill" atop a TV and I was hooked.



John Speaking, click on picture for full size view


Paul Beard, John Bybee, Norma "Joy" (Ford) Beard.


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"  


John Bybee on the left in front of a P-51 Mustang


The gent on the right is Gene Vandament an Army and college buddy.

 I'm 60.  Retired from the BNSF RR out of Beardstown Aug 1.  36 years service, worked in Burlington, IA, and West Quincy, MO for short periods the rest in Beardstown.  A grizzled old conductor once told me, "kid when you retire, you'll find you'll just have more time to see the doctor."  I thought he was nuts--well I hit a speed bump after retiring--found out I had prostrate cancer.  Had the cryotherapy surgery done in Galesburg on 9 Sept and I feel super and they tell me I'm doing super.

Ya, B-24s are one of my favorites.  My nickname is Col. Liftgap.  Found an article that WWII Soviet pilots claimed the B-24 had a "liftgap" as the mains retracted into the wheel wells and would quit flying.  Folks thought I was nuts until I found the article.


Hi Jeff,
Left you a Phone message.  I am thrilled and stunned that you are so close and have such an interest in military aviation.  Yes, I will call Ben Kidder.  The "Tulsamerican" was a Ford KD kit and the last B-24 built at Douglas Tulsa.  Kevin Gray a Tulsa lawyer is one of the brass hats at the Tulsa Air & Space Museum and they would love to bring back all or part of that aircraft to Tulsa.  The pilot, Flight Engineer and Navigator all died in the crash.

The TulsaAmerican was 765 lead and was hit by FW-190A-8s of the II JG300 just before the IP in CZ.  They made Split, Yugo on 2 engines and tried for Vis.  Last 2 engines ran out of gas and the Lib rolled over into the Adriatic from a 100 feet.

A-4, Falklands--tell me more when you get a chance! 

I worked with the IWM on a B-47E story.  I've attached a draft.  Capt. Galvan was 767 deputy lead on 17 Dec 44 mission.  Shot up and made a forced landing, POW and KIA 26 June 1956 in B-47E at Smoky Hill AFB, KS.

Nobuko worked at a department store in Koza, Okinawa, while I was stationed at Henko, Okinawa 1968-1970, of course I didn't know her then.

Gerry Landry who retired from the Cal Tech subsonic wind tunnel, his cousin Russel Landry was the nav. 



Hi Jeff,
Very glad to hear from you.  You did a super job with the content and presentation of your website.  How in the world did I miss the fact that you are in Bushnell??  I've been to your website several times and your data has helped me solve the mystery of the Jesse Pettey's 461, Sq #52 and 451 B-24G #42-78436 "Shady Lady" which went MIA at 1320hrs, 18 Dec 1944 near the center of the Nagykanizsa Oil Triangle in southwestern Hungary. 

Have done research for a book on the Sunday 17 December 1944 mission flown by the 49th BW to Odertal, Germany (Kozle, Poland).  The 485th BG on the return leg from this mission alleges that they had six B-24s damaged by SAMS  at 1414hrs @ 12,000 feet @ 46-33N  16-30E.  The "Shady Lady" went MIA in the same general area.  The 2nd BG (B-17) recounts they were attacked by Rheintochter SAMS over Wiener Neustadt in late Dec 1944.  I can send you links to a my blog on same.  I've been fortunate to have 3 articles published in AIR CLASSICS.  This spring I did an article on the 31 March 1931 TWA/Rockne crash for Randy Reynolds' TWA / Jack Frye website.

Currently, Gary Hyatt of the Davis-Monthan website has asked if I would be a guest editor and do the Fokker page for the website and Dave Powers of the PanAm  LOGBOOK magazine desires that I do a piece on TWA.Do you follow the history of Camp Ellis?     YES, I would love to have your insights and help for online publishing if I ever get the Odertal book done.   I belong to the informal SPG (Same Page Gang) and we think we have found a prop blade and wheel off the 461st B-24J "Tulsamerican" lost off Hvar on 17 Dec 1944.  Have attached a photo.   Looking forward to your response.

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  When Angels Fall, by John Bybee 



Greetings Jesse,

I am doing ongoing research on the Sunday 17 December 1944 mission to Odertal   (Kozle, Poland) and Hughes G. gave me your new email address. I read very great interest you article about your book ONE MORE MISSION and the Goia Sgt/Painter that was selling Shady Lady  nose art off a stencil.  Is it possible that you flew #13, 42-51336 to >Italy, this aircraft lost 24 Aug 1944 at Pesaro with Lt. John R. Wren hr.'s crew?  Shady Lady #52,B-24G-16-NT, 42-78436 shows going to 451st on 24 November 1944 and went MIA on 18 Dec 1944 with 451/727, 2Lt. John D. Holland Jr. commanding.  #52 went MIA in the center of the Nagykanizsa (Hungary) Oil Triangle.  This was the same area that the 485th claimed they had six B-24s damaged by Nazi SAMs on 17 Dec 1944.  Let me dig out my notes on Holland etc. Sincerely,
John D. Bybee
Vermont, IL


Something's amiss big time since you flew 42-78436 over to Italy.  You recall any extra electronic equipment like in RCM / ECM / ELINT mode?


John, I was a pilot concerned with getting that big box-car fully loaded off the ground, saying the correct prayers while under fire from the Germans, and controlling a crash - called a landing.  We had bales of chaff to be thrown out the waist openings.  We had no other electronic equipment on the Shady Lady or on any other aircraft I flew.  I think I would remember any electronic intelligence devices.

Your research has been a revelation for me, although I have not spent a lot of time worrying about what happened to the Shady Lady.  I was informed, probably by rumor, that she had been shot down and I accepted the information because about 50% were lost.  Many years later I found on our website the same serial number for an airplane that a Lt. Wren piloted over Persaro and was MIA.  Much later I stumbled across a photo of someone stenciling a Shady Lady in the 451st.  I naturally assumed that someone was stenciling many aircraft with the same stencil, which I though was humorous.  Now you uncover, with convincing evidence, that the aircraft was transferred from the 461 to the 451 in November and was later MIA.  Since I was not consulted or asked for my permission to transfer the Shady Lady by the top command, I will accept your account of "The rest of the Story" of the Shady Lady.



B-24 Liberator Exhibits

Click Here to watch the U.S. Air Force Blues, A great recruiting video showing many aircraft of the 50's and 60's
Click Here to see the Script's Press Release for Willow Run The Eighth Air Force WW2 Movie"
Click Here for the Willow Run Exhibit, Production of the B-24 Liberator, by Warren B. Kidder
Click Here for B-24 Liberator Exhibits.  One More Mission by Jessie Petty

B-24 Liberator Movies     B-24 Liberator Aviation Art 
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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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Zeno's Warbird Video Drive-in   Great Warbird Videos


The Might Eithth Air Force in Action in World War II

The Mighty Eighth Air Force World War II

The latest book by Warren Benjamin Kidder.

This book starts out with action then talks about Charles Sorenson's building of the B-24 Liberator Factory at Willow Run.  Next it goes into America's entry into World War II and shows the daring raids of Jimmy Doolittle and quickly moves into the intense action of the B-24 Liberators raiding the oil refineries in Ploesti Romania. 

The last part of this book is a complete listing of almost one thousand raids of the 8th Air Force in WW2.

This is a color edition, hardcover edition, hand signed by the author, Warren Benjamin Kidder.

This book is action packed from beginning to end and is a non fiction account of what it really took to win the war both here in the United States and on the battle ground.  You need to read this book.

Click Here's Warren Benjamin Kidders New Book, The Mighty Eighth Air Force     

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Willow Run, The History of the Development of the B-24 Liberator Bomber Exhibit  

Veterans,  Read This


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