3 Moments from the PBS Special ‘Last B-24’ That Will Have You Sobbing

2296109 CharlesPriest third from left top row

War stories make you sob? Then prepare yourself for Last B-24. In 1944, World War II U.S. bomber Tulsamerican crashed into the Adriatic. Seven soldiers survived, and three — engineer Charles E. Priest, navigator Russell C. Landry and pilot Eugene Ford — disappeared.

This Nova installment documents how the plane’s wreckage provided clues to their fate. The episode also chronicles the search for two other pilots, one of them Tuskegee Airman Lawrence Everett Dickson, who vanished over the Alps. You’ll need tissues for these scenes.…


Tulsamerican’s bombardier, Val Miller, describes its last moments. Crippled by enemy fire, the bomber almost reached an Allied landing strip on the Croatian island of Vis. “The only warning was the pilot [saying], ‘We’re going in!'” Miller recounts. “I never saw [the missing men] again.”


Dickson’s daughter Marla Andrews learns bones have been discovered during filming. “One day I’m for finding him, and one day I’m not,” she admits. “I can’t explain it.”


Andrews details the funeral she’ll give her dad now that his remains have been identified. “I’m taking him first-class to Arlington,” she reveals. “He’d say, ‘You know how to send a person off.'”

Last B-24, Wednesday, November 7, 9/8c, PBS (check local listings at pbs.org)