1LT William Joseph Hatton

1LT William Joseph Hatton

Hudson County, New Jersey, USA
Death Apr 1943 (aged 25)
Cenotaph Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Plot Name is listed on Tablets of the Missing with a Rosette, indicating remains have been recovered.
Memorial ID 56251496 · View Source
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William's remains were found in the Libyan Desert and recovered in March of 1960 and he is now interred in the Mount Saint Mary Cemetery, Flushing, New York

" Click Here " for that record.

" Look below for the diary entry of 2nd Lt. Robert F. Toner concerning what happened to the crew ..... "

A "Rosette" was placed in front of his name here at North Africa to signify that his remains were recovered.

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William served as a First Lieutenant and Pilot on B-24D #41-24301 "Lady Be Good", 514th Bomber Squadron, 376th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided in Queens County, New York prior to the war.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on December 16, 1941 in New York City, New York. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as a Salesperson and also as Single, without dependents.

B-24D #41-24301 took off, with a crew of 9, on a high altitude bombing mission over Naples Harbor, Italy. They were not seen nor heard from after taking off. They ended up crashing, for an unknown reason, in the Libyan desert during the war.

William was first declared "Missing In Action" and after his remains were recovered his status was changed.

Service # O-791102

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

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In May of 1958, during an aerial survey by a British oil exploration team, they spotted what looked like a World War II era plane. In March 1959 a ground geological team visited the aircraft and it was confirmed to be The Lady Be Good. The crew, except for SSgt. Moore, was eventually recovered in March of 1960.

Airmen who perished on B-24D #41-24301:

Adams, Samuel E. ~ S/Sgt, Tail Gunner, IL
Hatton, William J. ~ 1st Lt, Pilot, NY
Hays, DP ~ 2nd Lt, Navigator, MO
La Motte, Robert E. ~ T/Sgt, Radio Operator, MI
Moore, Vernon L. ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, OH
Ripslinger, Harold J. ~ T/Sgt, Engineer, MI
Shelley, Guy E., Jr. ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, PA
Toner, Robert F. ~ 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, MA
Woravka, John S. ~ 2nd Lt, Bombardier, OH

( Crew Report by: Russ Pickett )

2nd Lt. Robert F. Toner keep a diary, that was found in the desert, concerning this crash and what happened to the crew. Life Magazine featured the diary in one of their issues ~ the entries read:

April 4, 1943
Naples: 28 planes. Things pretty well mixed up. Got lost returning, out of gas, jumped, landed in desert at 2 in morning. No one badly hurt. Can't find John, all others present.

Monday 5.
Start walking NW. Still no John. A few rations, 1/2 canteen of water, 1 cup full per day. Sun fairly warm, good breeze from N.W. Nite very cold. No sleep. Rested and walked.

Rested at 11:30, sun very warm, no breeze. Spent P.M. in hell. No planes, etc. Rested until 5 P.M. Walked and rested all night, 15 min. on, 5 off.

Same routine, everyone getting weak, can't get very far, prayers all the time, again P.M. very warm, hell. Can't sleep. Everyone sore from ground.

Hit sand dunes, very miserable, good wind but continuous blowing of sand, everybody now very weak, thought Sam and Moore were all gone. LaMotte's eyes are gone, everyone else's eyes are bad. Still going N.W.

Friday 9.
Shelley, Rip, Moore separate and try to go for help, rest of us all very weak, eyes bad. Not any travel, all want to die, still very little water, nites are about 35°, good N. wind, no shelter, 1 parachute left.

Still having prayer meetings for help. No signs of anything, a couple of birds, good wind from N. Really weak now, can't walk, pains all over, still all want to die. Nights very cold, no sleep.

Still waiting for help, still praying, eyes bad, lost all our wgt., aching all over, could make it if we had some water, just enough left to put our tongue to, have hope for help very soon, no rest, still same place.

MONDAY 12. No help yet. Very cold night.

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Previously added to Find A Grave,
source unknown:

Lieut. William J. Hatton was the pilot of the B-24 Liberator bomber ‘Lady Be Good’ that crashed in the Libyan Desert in 1943. His remains, along with others from the plane, were discovered in 1960.

The plane took off on a mission on April 4, 1943, and was found in May, 1959, by an oil exploration team.

The nine crew members were 1st. Lt. William J. Hatton, pilot, of North Attleboro, Mass.; 2d Lt. D.P. Hays, navigator, of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; 2nd Lt. John S. Woravka, bombardier, of Cleveland, Ohio; T/Sgt. Harold S. Ripslinger, of Saginaw, Mich.; T/Sgt. Robert E. Lamotte, of Lake Linden, Mich.; S/Sgt. Guy E. Shelley, of New Cumberland, Pa.; S/Sgt. Vernon L. Moore, of New Boston, Ohio, and S/Sgt. Samuel R. Adams, of Eureka, Ill.


William Hatton is buried in Mount Saint Mary Cemetery.



  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56251496
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT William Joseph Hatton (31 May 1917–Apr 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56251496, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .