Hadley`s Harem B24 Liberator Plane Istanbul 2019.
With massive thanks to Duane Schultz for his excellent history on this unsung hero in my opinion..First Lieutenant Gilbert B. Hadley—he liked to be called “Gib”—wasburied back home in Kansas in 1997, some 54 years after he was killed in action on August 1, 1943. “He looked like Clark Gable,” a Kansas City newspaper wrote about Gib when he was young. He “could talk his way into or out of virtually anything and loved to wear his cowboy boots and pearl-handled revolvers into battle.” He was a handsome, rowdy, flamboyant guy, liked by everybody who met him, particularly his own flight crew. Like many young men in those hard times before World War II, Hadley joined the Army for the pay. Meager as it was, it was better than no job at all. He scored high enough on the army’s intelligence test to be selected for flight training, and he loved it. Gib’s early training took place not far from where he grew up, and he took great delight in buzzing the houses of his parents and friends, flying only a few feet over their rooftops. When he got assigned to the huge four-engine Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers during the war, he flew them the same way, scaring everyone but himself. When he got his own B-24, he named it Hadley’s Harem because he liked to think he had a way with the ladies. He wanted to paint nudes on the plane below the name, but the chaplain objected.This mission was to ultimately cost Gib Hadley his life when his very badly damaged plane finally ditched in the water off Antalya,Turkey after a bombing raid on the oil fields of Romania..suffering engine damage which saw the unfortunate plane to be lost beneath the waves for the next 50 years..Leroy Newton,one of the seven crew to survive would return in 1994 to try to discover the sunken plane,but despite much searching,Leroy returned to the US having failed his quest,however a marine photographer saw a news report about Leroy`s search and told him that himself and his son had discovered the plane back in 1972 so Leroy returned and after some lengthy discussion,the plane still containing the remains of Gib and his co pilot James Lindsey were first removed and repatriated to the US in 1997..the wreck of the plane was raised from the sea bed and now resides at the Rahmi M Koc Museum in Istanbul Turkey.Read More