WHAT: B-24 WRECK
WHERE: VIS, CROATIA
DATE OF WRECK: DECEMBER 14TH, 1944
Tulsa, OK community and factory workers pitched in to buy war bonds that would build a B-24 Liberator in the Douglas aircraft plant at the Tulsa airport in 1944. They named her Tulsamerican, took smiling pictures next to her and signed their names on her fuselage with messages and wishes to the soldiers she was flying to help. This B-24 was the last produced in Tulsa and it became a community icon. The aircraft flew to Europe and participated in missions across the continent until its defeat on December 17th, 1944. After surviving a dog-fight with Luftwaffe fighters the crew dropped their bomb load and the Tulsamerican limped home, badly damaged. The aircraft almost made it, but went into the water while circling an island emergency airstrip. Three crew members were lost and remain with the wreck site underwater.
This project is a survey of Tulsamerican, and is specifically planned to obtain an accurate and vibrant 3D map of her wreckage. Secondary goals are to take corrosion potential readings from the Tulsamerican site and other B-24s in the area to interpret the decay of WWII aircraft sites in various depths. The images will be used to benefit the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium and also for the PhD dissertation of the project’s leader. The desired outcome will be to help integrate Tulsamerican’s memory into the community of Tulsa and provide the museum with opportunities to honor her history.
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