I am trying to investigate the incident described at: http://www.b24bestweb.com/badpenny-the-v5-2.htm Text is repeated below.

"From Robert Willis (Armorer/Nose Gunner): "We slid The BAD PENNY on to a dirt strip adjacent to an English fighter base North of Bari. They requested we land in the dirt as they did not want to damage their runway if we blew up. We thought we were going to abandon over the Adriatic Sea or the North coast of Italy, but we made it. We slid the plane up to the edge of an old Roman stone quarry. We were picked up by truck and hauled back to the 376th. As I recall, we hit the S.W. marshalling yards in Vienna again. The BAD PENNY did not recover, too many holes and the slide to first base didn't help, but we got back. It could have been worse if we went over the edge of the quarry after all that."
Standing (L-R)
Malcolm Willis - Tail Gunner
Morton Fink - Engineer
Bill McCarty - Radio Operator
Jack Soderlund - Waist Gunner
Cecil R. Chappell - Asst Eng/Ball Gunner
Robert Willis - Armorer/Nose Gunner"
Kneeling (L-R)
Bob Westrup - Navigator
Melvin Sossaman - Pilot
Tom Cassidy - Co-Pilot
Jim Esbanshade - Bombardier

My father-in-law was the radio operator, Bill McCarty, who has passed away. My research so far indicates the plan was not the Bad Penny (it was lost to mechanical problems on 31 Jan 1945) and that the actual rough landing was on 15 Feb 1945 at "Bari". This crew was part of the 376BG, 512BSq. The plane had the #4 engine feathered, #3 engine with a bad oil leak and 10 flak holes from the mission to the Vienna Main marshalling yard and did not return to base--based on the Interrogation Form that I have. There is a discrepancy in the number of the aircraft involved. It was the 512th squadron's number 26, but the aircraft number is listed as 41-28911, a plane previously reported as lost on 31 Jan 45. I think they got the 31 Jan aircraft number wrong on the paperwork--up until that time the aircraft number for #26 had consistently been 42-78353 and 41-28911 continued to fly on 13, 14, and 15 Feb 45.

My questions for the forum are: 1) What base might they have landed at? 2) Was there a RAF base near Bari that had a dirt strip near the regular strip and an old Roman stone quarry? 3) Is there any way to find out what might have become of the B-24 (I have requested the individual aircraft record card from the Air Force's AFHRA) after being left at the RAF base?

Any help/info/advice on this incident, the base, or where to go for further info would be greatly appreciated.