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B-24 Liberator - History

B-24 Liberator - History


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B-24 Liberator

The B-24 was a multipurpose aircraft that was used both as a low level bomber as well as a transport aircraft. In the course of the war over 12,000 were produced.

B-24 Liberator

Manufacturer: Consolidated

Engines: 4 1200PW r1830

Speed: 290MPH

Length: 52,11ft

Range: 2,100mi

Wingspan: 110ft

Weight: 65,000lbs(max)

Ceiling: 28,000ft

Armaments: 10 machine guns, 8,800lbs


Fantastic Pictures of the B-24 Witchcraft Throughout Her Unique Career

The B-17 and the B-24 Liberators were the workhorses of the US Army Airforces during WWII, being used in every theatre of the war. Both were used for the intensive strategic bombing on German cities, but the Liberator was also an important aircraft in the Battle of the Atlantic where it was able to close the Mid-Atlantic Gap with its long range.

Overall, 12,000 B-24s served with the USAAF, peaking in September 1944 when there were 6,043 operational.

One of the B-24s most notable aspects is its long and thin ‘Davis wing’, mounted high up on the fuselage. This type of wing gave the B-24 good range qualities, and enabled a high cruise speed as well as a heavier bomb load.

Like the B-17, the B-24 was armed with a large amount of .50 caliber machine guns, located in the waist and turrets. Unlike the B-17 however, the ball turret was retractable as there was minimal ground clearance below the aircraft. This could be used to reduce drag for longer range, or in case of engine failures.

A B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft of the 790th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group flying low above the photographer.

It was the first US heavy bomber to feature tricycle landing gear.

The B-24 wasn’t as durable against enemy fire as the B-17. On top of this, it had a maximum altitude 4,000 ft less than the B-17, and carried less defensive armaments. This lead to crews prefer the B-17, but General Staff favoured the B-24 for its heavier bomb load.

One notable Liberator was B-24 ‘Witchcraft’. Witchcraft was built in 1944, before flying to England in March of 1944 to join the 467th Bomb Group. She flew the first mission of the 467th. Over the the next year, with various different crews, Witchcraft completed 130 combat missions.

Over these missions, she never once turned back, and no crewman was injured or killed. She flew her last combat mission on April 25 1945, which was none other than the last mission flown by the 467th.

Unfortunately her incredible career couldn’t save her, and she was scrapped in late 1945. Today, one of the only flying B-24 Liberators is painted as Witchcraft.

A B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft of the 467th Bomb Group releases bombs over the target.

“Witchcraft” 100 mission celebration. Sgt. Raymond Betcher a member of the maintenance ground crew of B-24H-15 FO 42-52534 ” Witchcraft” receives his certificate of Meritorious service signed by General Peck and presented by Major General William E. Kepner, Commanding General of the Second Air Division, on the occasion of completion by “Witchcraft” of 100 missions with no aborts through any form of mechanical problem. “Witchcraft” went on to complete a total of 130 missions without an abort becoming one of the most celebrated aircraft in 8th Airforce history.

“Witchcraft” 100 mission celebration. Sgt. Raymond Betcher a member of the maintenance ground crew of B-24H-15 FO 42-52534 ” Witchcraft” receives his certificate of Meritorious service signed by General Peck and presented by Major General William E. Kepner, Commanding General of the Second Air Division, on the occasion of completion by “Witchcraft” of 100 missions with no aborts through any form of mechanical problem. “Witchcraft” went on to complete a total of 130 missions without an abort becoming one of the most celebrated aircraft in 8th Airforce history.

The nose art of a B-24 Liberator Witchcraft of the 790th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group.

The nose art of a B-24 Liberator nicknamed Witchcraft of the 790th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group.

The nose art of a B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraftof the 467th Bomb Group. Image via James Mahoney.

The nose art of a B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft of the 790th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group.

A B-24 Liberator nicknamed Witchcraft of the 467th Bomb Group in flight.

A bomber crew of the 467th Bomb Group and their B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft.

A bomber crew of the 467th Bomb Group with their B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft.

Air crew, Standing left to right Henry Kubacek, Alex McClean, Melvin Bland, Vernon Bundron, Robert McEwen, Bob Dekerf. Front Row, Lt John Oder Copilot, Lt Geo Reed Pilot, Lt Jack Kramer Bombardier.’

B-24 Liberators of the 467th Bomb Group lined up at RAF Welford. B-24 (4z-E+, serial number 42-94910) is visible in the foreground.

Ground crew, Standing Crew Chief Joe Ramirez, Chamberlin. Front Row Walter Elliot, Geo Dong, Joe Vetter, Ray Betcher.

Joe Ramirez, ground crew chief.

The ground crew of the 467th Bomb Group with their B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft.

The nose art of a B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft of the 790th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group after completing 130 missions.

A B-24 Liberator (Q2-M_, serial number 42-52534) nicknamed Witchcraft of the 790th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group taxiing around Rackheath airfield preparing to take off.


Consolidated B-24 Liberator in World War II

The Consolidated XB-24 (Model 32) was designed in 1938 as a performance improvement of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. The XB-24 incorporated a new wing design optimized for high-lift and low drag, a tricycle landing gear (the first on a U.S. Army heavy bomber) and twin vertical stabilizers. The resulting B-24 achieved a higher top speed, greater range and service ceiling without diminishing the bombload or defensive armament.

The B-24 was used in large numbers by the U.S. Army Air Corps, by the Royal Air Force (RAF), the air forces of British Commonwealth countries, and by the U.S. Navy as the PB4Y-1 Liberator long-range patrol aircraft. It excelled in all theaters of the war, fighting German submarines in the Atlantic and as a strategic bomber in campaigns in Europe, Asia and the Pacific. The B-24 was also produced in the cargo version, C-87 Liberator Express, and a tanker, the C-109.


Incredible pictures of damaged B-24 Liberators that made it home

“T’ings Is Tuff” – Douglas-Tulsa B-24H-15-DT Liberator – s/n 41-28931
724th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomb Group, 15th Air Force.
Shown making a belly-landing at it’s base in Southern Italy after being damaged by flak on a mission to Ploesti,Rumania. [Via]

Consolidated B-24J-90-CO Liberator – Serial number 42-100353
703rd Bomb Squadron, 445th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.
Crash landed in a field near Metfield,Norfolk,England on March 8,1944 and salvaged two days later. [Via]

Ford B-24L-5-FO Liberator – s/n 44-49279 – 564th Bomb Squadron, 389th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
Crashlanded at Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, England on Feb. 6,1945 after returning from mission to Magdeburg,Germany. [Via]

Battle damage resulted in this brand new 34th BG B-24 Liberator being written off at Manston, June 14, 1944. [Via]

Daisy Mae down on the beach at Midway after a harrowing raid against Wake Island. Landed with no brakes- you can see hydraulic fluid blown back on the fuselage. [Via]

Thumper, crashed on take-off from Kualoa overloaded for a photo-recon mission. #2 propeller slashed through the cockpit before cartwheeling over the plane and broke the pilot’s wrist [Via]

This B-24 didn’t make it home, but at least it landed safely. Damaged by flak, Piccadilly Pete of the 448th BG was brought to rest on her tail skid when her pilots sought the sanctuary of Bulltofta airfield in Sweden on April 9, 1944. [Via]

Not sure if this one made it home [Via]

B-24 flak damaged over Philippines, belly-landed Anguar island, Carolines [Via]

Named “Shack Rat,” B-24H-15-FO Liberator, s/n 42-52566, with the 786th Bomb Squadron, 446th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Damaged by flak on mission to bomb airfield at Gutersloh on 19 April 1944, she was totally destroyed in the crashlanding at Attlebridge. [Via]

B-24D 42-41142, “THUNDERBIRD II”, 308th/375th Chengkung, China 1 Apr 44, the result of a runaway propeller, on takeoff, that cut into the flight deck. The Pilot, John Z. McBrayer, lost his left leg. [Via]

The damage in the photo occured on the December 20,1943 mission to Bremen,Germany. It is still not completely known what happened other than a propeller from another plane sliced away the tail turret,right rudder and part of the horizontal stabilizer and killing the gunner.

There are two stories about this mishap. One says it was a prop which came off another plane another says “El Lobo” slowed, suddenly, and was hit by another aircraft.

The tail gunner – S/Sgt. Donald D. Pippitt – died as a result, and the plane returned to the 392nd a month later. She was later reported as MIA [missing in action] on an April 29,1944 mission to Berlin. [Via]

BA2 #14 41-23858 GREMLIN’S DELIGHT aka FRIGID FRANCES of 28CG. Crash landed 30 miles south of Ladd Field AK flew for 3 hours observing and photographing a solar eclipse when the B-24 suffered the loss of engines No. 1 and No. 2. The inability to feather the props compounded problems and ultimately led to the aircraft crashing. All 14 aboard survived. [Via]


One of the internet's largest and most complete research on the German POW camps for airmen during World War II. These seven POW camp sites contain maps, photos, government records, historical accounts and self-authored stories of POW life including historical account of the 500+ mile forced March from Stalag Luft 4 of 6,000+ airmen.

Each of the 285 missions contains mission summaries including the men and planes are included for each mission. The Missing Air Crew Reports are contained within the summaries. The Missing Air Crew Report link is indexed by both crew and date. Also included are the Trolley Missions in May 1945 and the chronological events of the Anatomy of a Mission.


Military operators Edit

Australia Edit

Due to the vast numbers of Liberator aircraft available in 1943 it was decided the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) should form up to seven squadrons of Liberator heavy bombers. This would also allow USAAF Bombardment Groups to move from Australia to other areas. As RAAF Squadrons Nos 21, 23 and 24 equipped with Vultee Vengeance dive-bombers had just returned from New Guinea it was decided they should be the first ones to be re-equipped. RAAF aircrews were trained and flew operationally with the USAAF until RAAF Liberators were received in February 1944. The first nine new bombers formed Operational Training Unit No 7. [1]

Unplanned delivery delays meant that Squadrons were not operational until 1945, when they began operations from its base in the Northern Territory forming RAAF Bomber Wing No. 82 .They played a very active role in the heavy bombing role during the last months of the war, particularly in the Borneo campaign. Other RAAF Bomber squadron used the Liberator.

In addition, Nos 200 and 201 Flights flew the Liberator under the direction of the Australian Intelligence Bureau.

  • 200 flight was equipped with 8 B-24s and their operations included dropping “Z-Force” special forces behind enemy lines.
  • 210 flight operated 2 B-24s from Darwin in the Northern Territory conducting electronic countermeasures against Japanese radar and radio communications.

At the war's end most B-24's were no longer required and were scrapped for their metal which was then melted down for more urgent use. After the war Liberators were replaced in 1948 by Avro Lincolns. About 287 Liberators (B-24D, B-24J, B-24L and the B-24M models) eventually served in RAAF bomber squadrons. It was the only heavy bomber used in the Pacific by the RAAF and they operated from Australia, Morotai(East Indies) and Palawan (Philippines).

Australia/South West Pacific

    /No. 466 Squadron RAAF (A joint or merged unit – sources vary began converting to Liberators in mid-1945 after the surrender of Germany, prior to transfer to the Pacific disbanded in October 1945 after the surrender of Japan.) [2][3]

Canada Edit

RCAF operated four Liberator anti-submarine squadrons, one heavy transport squadron and one bomber squadron during the Second World War.

China Edit

A total of 138 B-24 Liberator were sold to China under Lend-Lease in 1944–45 but only 37 B-24M had been actually received at the end of the war. About 48 B-24M were eventually received and were used in China Civil War.

People's Republic of China Edit

Two B-24M were captured in China Civil War and operated until 1952.

Czechoslovakia Edit

Germany Edit

India Edit

When India gained independence in 1947, between 37 and 42 Liberators were resurrected by HAL and gave service with No.5, No.6 and No.16 Squadrons. [4] until their retirement in 1968. It is from the Indian Air Force that the majority of the remaining B-24s owe their existence.

A major gap for the Indian Air Force during the Kashmir conflict was the lack of heavy bombers. Following the Second World War, the RAF had been forced to dispose of a number of Consolidated B-24 Liberators in India which it had received from the United States under the terms of the Lend-Lease agreement. These Liberators were sent to Kanpur, where they were damaged by RAF personnel in a variety of ways, rendering them unusable. However, the RIAF, which had for years relied on salvage and repair operations to keep its equipment-starved squadrons operating, was able to repair the Liberators. Some 42 Liberators were made air-worthy using spare parts cannibalized from other Liberators. The IAF became the last air force in the world to fly the Liberator. The Royal Air Museum asked for and received a B-24 Liberator aircraft for display at its museum, which was flown in 1974 from India to the United Kingdom. It is still on display.

Italy Edit

  • A single USAAF B-24D (serial 41-23659) was captured by the Regia Aeronautica after landing in Pachino, Sicily February 1943. After evaluation at the Italian test centre at Guidonia, it was delivered to the Luftwaffe test centre at Rechlin in June.

Nicaragua Edit

  • Two ex USAAF B-24D were operated by the FAN in the 1950s. Later sold to US Warbird collectors in the early 60s.

Netherlands Edit

No. 321 Squadron RAF was formed from Dutch personnel of the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service during World War II. After the Japanese Surrender, the squadron passed to the control of the Dutch Naval Aviation Service. It flew the B-24 Liberator between December 1944 and December 1945.

New Zealand Edit

Poland Edit

Portugual Edit

Six B-24 Liberator of various variants were interned during World War II after landing in Portugal due to many reasons. All six of these aircraft were operated by the Aeronáutica Militar (Army Military Aviation).

Romania Edit

One B-24 was captured largely intact after Operation Tidal Wave in 1943. It was tested by the Royal Romanian Air Force during the winter. Another two B-24s were captured after the raid of 5 April 1944. There were plans to form a squadron because of the large number of force-landed or crashed B-24s during the summer of 1944, but only three B-24Ds and one B-24J were made airworthy before King Michael's Coup. The plan was canceled after this event.

Soviet Union Edit

Only one plane was delivered via Lend-lease but 30 other planes were repaired from 73 abandoned wrecks.

South Africa Edit

Turkey Edit

Eleven B-24s made an emergency landing in Turkey coming from bombing of Ploesti within Operation Tidal Wave. All of them were interned by Turkey and five of these B-24s were repaired and served in the Turkish Air Force.

United Kingdom Edit

The RAF was the first user as initial deliveries of B-24 liberators to Royal Air Force were made in the spring of 1941 and included some planes originally intended for France. These 26 planes were named Liberator B.Mk I and were basically B-24As. The RAF soon realized that B-24s were unsuitable for combat over Western Europe as they had insufficient defensive armament and lacked self-sealing fuel tanks. Due to the aircraft's heavy payload and long range, the disappointed RAF assigned 20 LB-30B aircraft to anti-submarine patrols and 6 LB-30A to long range transport operations, specifically the Atlantic Return Ferry Service. By March 1941 200 B-24s were in service in the RAF, the ones assigned to Coastal Command were in many cases converted to a version with greatly increased range, wherein armor, and sometimes even turrets, were removed to compensate for installing additional fuel tanks.

The next RAF version was the improved Liberator B.Mk II, received starting in January 1942, and were closer to the B-24C. These planes were fitted with self-sealing fuel tanks and two four-gun Boulton-Paul turrets, one in the tail and another in a dorsal position. Some Mk.IIs went to Coastal Command but most were operationally accepted by RAF in the heavy bomber role. When the situation became dangerous to British interests, some B-24s were assigned to the Middle East in 1942 and based in the Suez Canal Zone. They arrived about the same time as a big convoy was being organized to ferry supplies from Alexandria to Malta, and their first task was to help provide it with air cover. Middle East based B-24s proved their value in August 1942, joining the air raids on Tobruk harbor, compelling the German Army to divert most supply columns to Benghazi. In September USAAF and RAF B-24s started bombing Benghazi scoring several direct hits on supply ships.

The next British version was the Liberator B.Mk III, basically an adapted B-24D. Their armament was adapted to RAF standards, consisting of a single British machine gun in the nose, a twin-gun dorsal turret, two waist gun positions and a four-gun tail turret. Some retained US armament, being named Liberator B.Mk IIIA.

Liberator B.Mk V were B-24D aircraft modified to carry more fuel, reducing its armor but retaining the defensive armament of the Liberator B.Mk III model. The Liberator B.Mk VI were B-24G/H/H with Boulton Paul tail turrets. B-24J version was named Liberator B.Mk VIII.

RAF Coastal Command modified several B-24s for the anti-submarine role adding, an underwing searchlight, radar, and air-to-surface rockets. Coastal Command also used the Liberator Mk VI for long-range reconnaissance and the Liberator Mk VIII in the anti-submarine role.

Six RAF Liberator bomber squadrons also fought in Burma. No. 358 Squadron flew only one bombing mission, afterwards becoming a ‘special duties’ squadron. Together with three American Liberator squadrons they formed the Strategic Air Force of Eastern Air Command, and all were based in Eastern India. Burma-Siam railway was one of the main targets. In Europe B-24s were not employed by RAF for strategic bombing but some B-24s were used as an electronic warfare aircraft. Flying in ahead of bombing formations, these aircraft jammed German ground and night fighter radars.

The RAF also used many B-24s in the transport role, using a letter C in the name:

  • Liberator C.Mk IV were Mk VIII models modified as transports
  • Liberator C.Mk VII was the designation for American C-87.
  • Liberator C.Mk IX was the name for RY-3/C-87C versions.
  • Liberator C.Mk VIII models were Mk VIII modified as transports.
    (post war Coastal Command, India) (Middle East) (Middle East) (Middle East) (Coastal Command) (Coastal Command) (Middle East) (Coastal Command) (Far East) (Transport Command, post war) (Middle East) (Middle East) (Coastal Command) (Middle East) (Middle East) (Middle East) (Middle East, Far East) (Middle East, Far East) (Middle East) (Coastal Command out of Gambia) (Far East) (Coastal Command) (Far East) (Coastal Command) (Bomber Command, 1944/45) (Coastal Command) (Far East) (Transport Command) (Coastal Command) (Far East) (Transport Command) (Far East) (Far East) (Far East) (Far East) (Far East) (Far East) (Coastal Command) (Coastal Command) (Middle East)

United States Edit

The Liberator in North Africa campaign proved to be a better long-range bomber than the B-17 Flying Fortresses. With the B-17 the B-24 proved critical for the US 8th Air Force and its bombing raids across Europe. Later B-24s equipped 9th and 15th Air Forces in the Mediterranean.

B-24 Liberators operating in the Pacific proved the value of the long range capability of the B-24, surpassing that of the B-17. Not facing the deadly German defensive combination of anti-aircraft defenses and fighters, they achieved better results with the different demands imposed on them. In contrast to their European performance, where General Doolittle refused to take on more B-24's in favor of B-17's for the 8th Air Force, they assisted in returning control of the various collection of Pacific islands back to Allied hands.

Several different versions of the B-24 Liberator served with the United States Navy.


Flying in the Coffin

One specific account was from Phillip Ardery, former squadron commander and wing operations officer. After his service he wrote down his stories and published them in a book called “Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II” where he recounts his experiences flying in European theater. In his stories it is quite evident one of his main worries about flying was flak. He also makes many remarks on how un-durable the B-24 was. Most of his stories during combat in the B-24 were interesting. The stories told about his experience during combat were that of luck and smart thinking. The stories were not all cheerful though. Some of the stories were that of close encounters and witnessing the loss of his friends in other B-24’s that were not as lucky as himself.

B-24 Liberator with a blown off wing. (Aviation History)

One such story was from one of his fellow pilots Robert Lee Wright. While Ardery and Wright were flying back from a bombing mission, Wright’s B-24 was hit with flak and engines 3 and 4 went out. Following this he told his crew to dump all of their guns and ammunition from the plane. However, another engine went out and now the B-24 was left with only engine. Wright then decided to land the plane off the coast of Sicily. Ardery then made a quip saying, “But Bob landed his Lib in that field, and didn’t do it any damage except to blow a nose wheel tire. … Anyone who has ever flown a B-24 will admit this is the story of a near miracle.” (Ardery p.89) Following this landing however Wright was able to meet up with Canadian forces which were invading that area at the time and he and his crew fought with the Canadian forces for 2 weeks before returning to their base in Bengasi with a bunch of Italian gear as mementos of the venture. (Ardery p.88-90)
Aside from these stories of miracles there were often stories of fellow pilots being shot down while flying a B-24 Liberator that might have been a different story if they were flying a B-17 which were known for still being able to return after sustaining heavy combat damage.
Ardery’s memoir is a clear example of what it was like flying a B-24 Liberator during World War II. It was a dangerous experience each time they went on a mission with the B-24. But it is also clear to see how effective and how big of a role the B-24 played during missions in World War II.


World War Photos

98th BG 345th BS 9th AF B-24D 41-11766 Chug-A-Lug Nose Art US Soldier with Crashed B-24 Bomber by Jungle Pacific 5th Army Troops Examine Wreck of B-24 Downed near Nettuno March 1944 B-24 Liberator Dropping Its Bombs
B-24 of the 460th Bomb Group drops a load of fragmentation bombs on the Aidrome at Neuberg, Austria – 26 March 1945 B-24 Liberator with Heavy Battle Damage to Tail Section 7th Army Air Force 30th BG 392nd BS B-24 Liberators over Truk 1944 B-24J Liberator 44-40706 of the 864th BS, 494th Bomb Group, 7th AF November 22, 1944
Waist Gunner in Position on B-24 Liberator During Mission B-24 Liberator Nose Art The Old Mutual 14th Air Force Recon F-7A 42-73048 Bourbon Boxcar Nose Art USAAF B-24 Liberator over Japan struck down by Japanese Phoshphorus Bomb
B-24 Bombers Leaving Smoking Target Area After Bombing B-24J 42-50561 of the 486th Bomb Group, 833rd BS code 4N-K, dropping bombs USAAF Airfield with bombers B-24 Italy 1944 B-24 Bombers Attacking Burning Ploesti Oil Refinery
38th Bomb Squadron 30th BG Aircrew Posed by Their B-24 Liberator B-24 Liberators of the 490th Bomb Group in flight 1944 B-24 Liberator #74 – 13 November 1944 Burma 13th Air Force 5th Bomb Group 23rd BS B-24M Liberators #03 2245 and #14 over Balikpapan October 1944
B-24M #056 44-42056 from 865th Bomb Squadron 494th Bomb Group B-24 Bombers Flying Through AA Fire B-24 of the 90th Bomb Group Jolly Rogers over Balikpapan October 1944 Woman Ordnance Worker on B-24 Libeartor 1944
455th Bomb Group B-24J #43 named CHERRIE s/n 42-51332 Dropping Bomb Load B 24 Liberator Bomber Top Turret Gunner B-24 of the 15th AF, bomb bay doors open B-24 Bombers of Bomb Group Spread Out Over Airfield
B-24 42-40688 Wicked Witch of 11th BG, 42nd BS after Wake Island Raid 1943 B-24M 44-42133 of the 308th Bomb Group 374th Bomb Squadron – nose art “Miss Lace” 15th Air Force B 24 Bomber #71 Flying over Mount Vesuvius 1944 B-24 Liberator 15th AF Bombing Ploesti Romania 15 July 1944
451st Bomb Group B-24G #23 42-78274 named “Cocky Crew!” in flight B-24J 44-40689 of the 494th Bomb Group 867th Bomb Squadron “Our Baby” nose art B-24 Liberator of the 576th Bomb Squadron 392nd Bomb Group B-24J Liberator 42-100294 of the 328th Bomb Squadron 93rd Bomb Group 8th Air Force named “Victory Belle”
B-24J 42-72994 “Bolivar” of the 27th BS 30th Bomb Group B-24J 42-73324 “The Flying Cloud” of the 308th Bomb Group 374th Bomb Squadron B-24J 42-50490 #19 “Leevus Bee” and B-24G 42-78231 #5 “Satan’s Gal” of the 450th BG, 720th BS B-24J 44-40757 “Big Time Operator” And Crew
8th AF B-24 Bombers during Raid over France Brand New B-24E Liberator Ford Motor Company Willow Run Plant B-24J 42-72998 “Bugs Bomby” of the 30th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Squadron 7th AF 460th Bomb Group 760th BS B-24 Liberators Take Off Spinazzola, Italy
The cockpit interior of a B-24 Liberator bomber B-24 Liberator Comes in for Landing at Midway Island 1943 B-24 Tail and crew members Pacific USAAF 9th Bomber Command B-24 Liberator Enroute to Grottaglie Raid
B-24 of the 5th BG 72nd BS 1945 Samar Leyte B-24 Liberator 42-52143 “Wells Cargo”. Navigator 2nd Lt. Joseph Orley examines the holes in his nose turret 10 January 1944 B-24 Bombers Dropping Bombs Over Target B-24M 44-42058 “Brief” and 44-40760 “Black Sheep” 867th Bomb Squadron 494th Bomb Group
B-24 Liberator 42-7607 from 446th BG 705th BS “The Spirit of 77” B-24J 42-73006 “Wabbit Twansit” of the 11th Bomb Group 431st Bomb Squadron 460th Bomb Group 760th BS B-24 Liberators in formation B-24 Nose Art Problem Child 7th BG
USAAF Liberator Attacked With Japanese Phosphorus Bomb While Bombing Truk B-24 Liberator 42-64448 Nose Art “Bottoms Up” 450th BG 721st BS B-24J 42-73322 Red Butt 5th BG 72nd BS B-24 RAF Liberator Mk II in Western Egypt 1942
B-17 and B-24 limp home together following the October 7, 1944 strike on Vienna 44th BG B-24 Liberator Preparing to Load Bombs England B-24 of 7th AF ground crews load bombers at a Marshall Islands airstrip for strike on Guam 1944 Wreckage of B-24J The Chambermaid 42-100227 of the 38th Squadron 30th BG – Saipan September 1944
9th AF Pilots by B-24D 41-11761 “The Squaw” on War Bond Tour 1943 449th Bomb Group B-24J 42-64363 Lil Butch B-24H serial 42-95020 “Lonesome Lois” code MK-X+ of the 701st BS 445th BG 13 July 1944 Wreckage of B-24J-80-CO “The Chambermaid” 42-100227 of the 38th Squadron 30th Bombardment Group 1944
B-24 Liberator flight cross the airfield at very low level B-24H Liberator 41-28702 “Pretty Baby” of the 460th BG 761st BS Aerial Photo B-24 Liberator Shot Down Over Germany 1944 Aerial View of 450th Bomb Group B-24 Bombers Over Burning Target
44th BG B-24 Liberators Taxiing at Airfield in England B-24H Liberator 41-29340 code 7V-N “Yankee Buzz Bomb” of the 458th Bomb Group. 15 April 1945, bombers dropping 500lb tanks of napalm. 5th Air Force B-24 Under Repairs at Townsville Australia February 1944 9th AAF B-24 Liberator During Attack on Messina Harbor Sicily July 1943
USAAF 8th AF B-24 Bomber Blasts Shulau Oil Refinery at Hamburg 1944 44th BG 67th BS B-24 Liberator 41-23818 “Bela” Taxiing at Airfield in England 15th US Army Air Force 485th BG B-24H 42-52724 Liberator “Buzz Job” 1944 over Czechoslovakia B-24 Liberator bombers training squadron
B-24J Liberator 42-109810 named “Sterile Errol” of the 330th BS 93rd BG 8th AF 7 April 1945 – a B-24 of the 67th BS 44th BG leaves Neumunster Germany B-24 Liberator Crash Wreck Poltava Russia 12 January 1945 B-24 #0011 and crew members South Pacific
B-24J Liberator 42-100168 named “Dual Sack” of the 98th BS, 11th BG, 7th AF Lt Col John Chennault in a junked B-24D 41-1092 used as a control tower on Adak airfield 1942. B-24H serial 41-28837 “Trade Winds” of the 487th Bomb Group 837th Bomb Squadron 8th AF B-24 44-42019 “Calamity Jane” of the 308th Bomb Group 374th Bomb Squadron
15th Air Force 451st BG B-24 Bombers in flight B-24D 41-24170 “Rapid Robin” of the 11th Bomb Group 431st Bomb Squadron B-24J 44-40683 “Curly Bird” of the 30th Bomb Group, 819th Bomb Squadron B-24 of 8th AF German Oil Plant Under Attack 1944
B-24M Liberator 44-50693 of the 755th BS 458th BG 8th AF 460th Bomb Group 760th BS B-24 Liberator A in flight B-24 Liberator Aircraft Assembly Line August 1943 B-24D 42-40074 “Juicy Lucy” of 11th BG
B-24 named Eager Beaver Bombing Company 7th BG 492nd BS 44th BG B-24 Liberators Flying in Formation 41-23774 Major Richard Craig inspects hole in his B-24 made by A6M during raid on Gastmata New Britain 1943 F-7 Photo Liberator Taking Off in Philippines
Leigh Light used for spotting U-boats on the surface at night fitted to a Liberator of Coastal Command. B-24M 44-42378 of the 380th Bomb Group, 528th Bomb Squadron – Nose art A “Wing an’ 10 Prayers” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberators dropping bombs 491st Bomb Group 8th Air Force B-24 Liberator of the 460th Bomb Group over Vienna Austria
B-24 Liberator RAAF B-24E Ford factory assembly line of ww2 airplane Consolidated B-24 Liberator B-24 Liberator of the 465th Bomb Group 15t AF over Vienna Austria 1944
Consolidated B-24J-175-CO Liberator #670 44-40670 of the 11th Bomb Group 42nd Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Dragon Lady” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator “B” of the 93rd Bomb Group in flight, ww2 airplane B-24 Liberators on Ploesti Raid 1943 6 Consolidated B-24J-110-CO Liberator #876 42-109876 of the 11th Bomb Group 98th Bomb Squadron 7th AF. Nose art “MILLIES DAUGHTER”
B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria 2 Consolidated LB-30 B-24 Liberator Bomber of the RAF B-24 of 453rd BG after belly landing in snow January 1945 B-24 Liberator �” Shark Mouth of the 90th Bomb Group
Consolidated B-24J-150-CO Liberator Bomber 44-40189 of the 380th Bomb Group, 531st Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Embarrassed” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberators over Wels Austria Liberators 460th Bomb Group Bombing Salzburg Austria 1944 B-24 Liberator over Graz Austria 1944 744th Bomb Squadron 456th Bomb Group
B-24J converted to F-7B, serial 44-40198 “Cherokee Strip” of the 20th CMS 6th PRG Consolidated B-24D-80-CO Liberator Bomber “N+” 42-40619 of the 389th Bomb Group 566th BS Consolidated B-24D-25-CO Liberator 41-24223 of the 308th Bomb Group 375th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Doodlebug” Consolidated B-24J-170-CO Liberator 44-40645 of the 865th Bomb Squadron, 494th Bomb Group, 7th AF. Nose Art Superchick Okinawa 1945
Consolidated B-24J-160-CO Liberator Bomber 44-40428 of the 43rd Bomb Group 64th Bomb Squadron. Nose art “Cocktail Hour” Liberators over the Alps Austria F-7A Liberator 42-64047 of the 20th CMS. Nose art „Patched Up Piece’” B-24J Liberator 42-64435 in Flight
B-24 Liberator over Austria 3 B-24 Liberator bomber 0185 of the 90th Bomb Group tail B-24 Liberators Manufacturing Workers 1944 Consolidated B-24J-170-CO Liberator Bomber 44-40563 of the 865th Bomb Squadron, 494th Bomb Group, 7th AF. Nose Art “Double Trouble” Okinawa 1945
B-24 Liberator color photo England B-24J bomber 44-40733 of the 494th Bomb Group 865th Bomb Squadron. „Innocence A Broad” Nose Art Consolidated B-24D-20-CO Liberator bomber 41-24183 of the 308th Bomb Group 374th Bomb Squadron. “The Goon” crew B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria 5
B-24M-10-FO Liberator 44-50811 of the 380th Bomb Group, 529th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Peace Offering” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator Bomber of the 380th Bomb Group, 530th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Missouri Miss” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator #645 44-41645 of the 5th Bomb Group 72nd Bomb Squadron 13th AF. Nose art “Red Headed Woman” Consolidated B-24J-150-CO Liberator Bomber 44-40193 of the 90th Bomb Group 321st Bomb Squadron. Nose art “Miss Jolly Roger”
Ford B-24H-30-FO Liberator 42-95379 #35 „Extra Joker” of the 725th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomb Group, 15th Air Force burning over Turnitz Austria. 23rd August 1944 B-24H Liberator 42-7580 nose art “Hap Hazard” B-24 Liberator Hells Kitchen Rusty Prop Crew 494 Bomb Group 865 BS Okinawa B-24H-25-DT Liberator Liberator 42-51173 of the 484th Bomb Group 827th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “A Broad Abroad”
B-24D Liberator ww2 airplane Consolidated B-24D-5-CO Liberator 41-23781 of the 98th Bomb Group 343rd Bomb Squadron. Nose art “Arkansas Traveler” Libya 1943 B-24 Liberator Philippines 1945 B-24 assembly line
B-24 Liberators during Ploesti Raid 1943 4 B-24 Liberator over Wiener Neustadt Austria 1944 2 B-24 Liberator of the 11th Bomb Group 431st Bomb Squadron 7th Air Force. Nose Art “Birds Eye View” B-24H-10-FO Liberator 42-52228 of the 454th Bomb Group 738th Bomb Squadron 15th AF. „Hairless Joe” nose art. Base Spinazolla Italy
Consolidated B-32 Dominator bomber 42-108532 of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, 5th AF. Nose Art HOBO QUEEN OKINAWA 1945 B-24 Liberator nose art B-24 Liberator Bomber 44-40209 converted to F-7B 311th Reconnaissance Wing. Nose Art “Well Developed” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator over Gmund Austria 1945
B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria 1945 B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria Consolidated B-24M Liberator releases bombs on Muhldorf Railyards, 451st Bomb Group, s/n 44-50443 B-24 Ford Motor Company 8000 Liberator
B-24 Liberator over Austria April 1945 #64 PB4Y-1 Liberator in Flight B-24 Liberator over Austria 451st Bomb Group Liberators from 451st Bomb Group over the Alps Austria, en route to strike the railroad yard in Vienna on January 15, 1945
B-24L “Flying Ass” of 724th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomb Group over Linz Austria Consolidated B-24M-25-CO Liberator 44-42331 of the 380th Bomb Group, 529th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Moonlight Maid” Okinawa 1945 Consolidated XB-24 Bomber 1939 B-24J converted to F-7B 44-40198 of the 20th CMS 6th PRG. Nose Art “Cherokee Strip”
Consolidated B-24J-115-CO Liberator 42-109933 of the 11th Bomb Group, 26th Bomb Squadron. Nose art “TARFU” B-24 AIRPLANE LANDING GEAR B-24 Liberator pilots color photo B-24H-10-DT Liberator #63 41-28670 of the 461st Bomb Group 767th Bomb Squadron 15th AF. Nose art “Malfunction Sired By Ford”
Consolidated B-24L-5-CO Liberator Bomber 44-41537 of the 22nd Bomb Group 19th Bomb Squadron. Nose art “Modest Maiden” B-24 Liberator hit by bombs mid air RAF B-24 Liberators over Heiligenstadt Austria 464th Bomb Group 778th Bomb Squadron 15th AF. Consolidated B-24J-185-CO Liberator #945 44-40945 of the 307th Bomb Group 371st Bomb Squadron 13th AF. Nose art “Ruth Ann”
B-24J Liberator #19 42-50906 “Minnesota Mauler” of 724th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomb Group over Linz Austria B-24 on Ploesti Raid 1943 5 Consolidated B-24J 44-40291 of the 458th Bomb Group, 753rd Bomb Squadron. „Royal Flush” Nose Art B-24 Hit by Bombs Mid Air RAF
B-24 Liberators on Ploesti Raid 1943 Consolidated B-24J-1-CF Liberator converted to F-7A, s/n 42-64102 “Nosie Rosie” of the 24th Combat Mapping Squadron, 8th Photo Reconnaissance Group, 10th Air Force. B-24H Liberator 42-52228 of the 454th Bomb Group 738th Bomb Squadron 15th AF. “Hairless Joe” nose art. Base Spinazolla Italy B-24 Liberator over Austria
Liberator 44-49647 “Flying Ass” of 724th Bomb Squadron 451st Bomb Group over Vienna, Austria 1945, Damaged B-24 “Liberandos” of the 376th BG over Tulon Ford B-24H-25-FO Liberator 42-95120 of the 458th Bomb Group, 755th Bomb Squadron 8th AF. NOSE ART “BETTY” Consolidated B-24J-170-CO Liberator Bomber #562 44-40562 of the 11th Bomb Group, 431st Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Wonderous Wanda” Okinawa 1945
B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria photo Consolidated B-24J-185-CO Liberator „Nana” #938 44-40938 of the 307th Bomb Group 371st Bomb Squadron, Nose Art B-24 Liberator over Austria 6 Consolidated B-24J-1-CO Liberator Bomber 42-73005 #005 of the 11th Bomb Group, 26th Bomb Squadron 7th Air Force. Nose Art “Gun Site”
B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria 1944 725th Bomb Squadron 451st Bomb Group Consolidated B-24M-5-CO Liberator Bomber 44-41867 of the 380th Bomb Group, 529th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Rangy Lil” Okinawa 1945 Consolidated B-24M-5-CO Liberator Bomber 44-41875 of the 380th Bomb Group, 528th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Net Result” Okinawa 1945 Consolidated B-24J-175-CO Liberator 44-40660 of the 494th Bomb Group 864th Bomb Squadron. Hell’s Belle nose art
B-24 Liberator 8th Air Force 448th Bomb Group 715th Bomb Squadron taking off Seething England 1944 Consolidated B-24J-185-CO Liberator 44-40942 #942 of the 868th Bomb Squadron 13th Air Force. Nose art WONDER GAL Ford B-24M-1-FO Liberator 44-50396 of the 380th Bomb Group, 531st Bomb Squadron. Nose Art „Pom Pom Express” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator ASSEMBLY line photo
B-24H-20-FO Liberator, Nose Art “Collapsible Susie”, 34th Bomb Group 7th Bomb Squadron, s/n 42-94879 B-24 Liberator over Vienna 1944 WW2 photo B-24 Liberator Pilot Ploesti Raid Consolidated B-24D-120-CO Liberator 42-40970 of the 90th Bomb Group 319th Bomb Squadron. Nose art “The Strip Polka”
Ford B-24M-1-FO Liberator 44-50396 of the 380th Bomb Group, 531st Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Pom Pom Express” Okinawa 1945 Consolidated B-24D-25-CO Liberator „L” 41-24226 „Joisey Bounce” of the 93rd Bomb Group 330th Bomb Squadron 1943 B-24 Liberator over Linz Austria 1944 Consolidated B-24H-20-CF Liberator 42-50284 of the 493rd Bomb Group, 862nd Bomb Squadron. Nose art “Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby”
Consolidated B-24M-5-CO Liberator Bomber 44-41876 of the 380th Bomb Group, 530th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Lucky Strike” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator over Koningsberg Austria Consolidated B-24L-5-CO Liberator 44-41480 of the 307th Bomb Group 370th Bomb Squadron 13th AF. Nose art “Pennsy City Kitty” B-24 US Bomber Aircraft Combat Photo
B-24 liberator in flight, ww2 airplane B-24 Liberator bomber of the 7th Bomb Group 493rd Bomb Squadron 10th AF. Nose art “MORS AB ALTO” B-24 Liberators of the 458th Bomb Group. Color picture Consolidated B-24J-120-CO Liberator Bomber #945 42-109945 of the 11th Bomb Group, 26th Bomb Squadron 7th Air Force. Nose Art “Merry Boozer”
B-24H-15-DT Liberator Nose Art photo “The Near Sighted Robin”, 34th Bomb Group 7th Bomb Squadron 8th AF. US Army Air Force s/n 41-28851 Consolidated B-24J-175-CO Liberator Bomber 44-40748 of the 494th Bomb Group 865th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “The Early Bird” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator “L” 460th Bomb Group over Nis Rail Yard September 1944 B-24 LIBERATOR BOMBER over the Atlantic 1944
B-24 Liberator over the Alps Austria B-24 Liberator base in England. 389th bomb group 8th AF Consolidated B-24L-10-CO Liberator Bomber 44-41610 of the 494th Bomb Group 867th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Star Dust” Okinawa 1945 Consolidated B-24E-25-CF Liberator 41-29074. Assembly Line Fort Worth Texas
B-24 Liberator of the 7th Bomb Group 9th Bomb Squadron. Nose art “LUSCIOUS LACE” Liberators in Low Level Bomb Run Ploesti Mission 1943 B-24 liberator engine B-24 Liberator of the 460th Bomb Group over Graz Austria 1944
B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria wels Consolidated B-24J-55-CO Liberator “Naughty Nan” 42-99949 of the 93 Bomb Group 328 Bomb Squadron, ETO 1944 B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria 1944 3 B-24 Battle Damaged 460 Bomb Group Liberator Belly Landing in Italy 1944
Ford B-24H-15-FO Liberator Bomber 42-52431 , 487th Bomb Group 836th Bomb Squadron 8th AF, NOSE ART “SOLID SENDER” B-24 RAAF Australia B-24 Liberator color ww2 airplane B-24 Liberator Bomber 8th Air Force Drops Bombs On Germany. 467th Bomb Group 790th Bomb Group.
Ford B-24L-5-FO Liberator 9491 44-49491 of the 308th Bomb Group. „Piece Time” nose art Consolidated B-24L-5-CO Liberator “Snooper” 44-41464 of the 868th Bomb Squadron 13th Air Force. Nose Art “Lady June II” Okinawa 1945 B-24 Liberator bomber 42-95084 nose art “Bird Dog” 466th Bomb Group 784th Bomb Squadron Ford B-24M-15-FO Liberator 44-50894 of the 380th Bomb Group, 529th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Liberty Belle” Okinawa 1945
B-24 Liberator England in USAAF service B-24 42-72891 “Finito Benito”over Wiener Neustadt Austria 1944 B-24 Liberator of the 450th Bomb Group on the ground 1944 B-24J nose art REDDY TEDDY 7th Bomb Group
Consolidated B-24H-15-CF Liberator 41-29508 in flames over Austria. 460th Bomb group 15th AF. 16th June 1944 B-24 Liberator #73 of the 376th bomb group over Wiener Neustadt Austria 1944 Ford B-24H 42-95379 #35 “Extra Joker” of the 725th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomb Group, 15th Air Force burning over Turnitz Austria. 23rd August 1944 B-24 Liberators over Salzburg Austria 1945
B-24 wing section assembly line Consolidated B-24D-CO Liberator 41-11686 376th Bomb Group “FULL A’ BREAST” Spinazzola Italy Liberator in the Low-Level Mission against Ploesti Consolidated B-24J-160-CO Liberator Bomber 44-40366 of the 22nd Bomb Group 33rd Bomb Squadron 5th AF. Nose Art Slighty Dangerous Okinawa 1945
Consolidated B-24D-15-CO Liberator bomber 41-24003 in USAAF service B-24J-190-CO Liberator 44-41030 of the 90th Bomb Group 400th Bomb Squadron. Nose art “After Hours” 15th AF Liberators over Gmund Austria 1945 Ford B-24L-5-FO Liberator Bomber 44-49378 of the 308th Bomb Group 374th BS. Nose art “Miss Mandy”
B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria 1944 Consolidated B-24D-25-CO Liberator “L” 41-24226 “Joisey Bounce” of the 93rd Bomb Group 330th BS 1943 B-24 Liberator bomber of the 7th Bomb Group 493rd Bomb Squadron 10th AF. Nose art “Blind Date” Consolidated B-24J-110-CO Liberator bomber 42-109880 #880 of the 11th Bomb Group 26st Bomb Squadron 7th AF. Nose art Chicago Ann
B-24 assembly line WW2 bomber B-24D Liberator „Ready Teddy” of the 307th Bomb Group 371th BS nose turret Ford B-24L-15-FO Liberator 44-49854 of the 43rd Bomb Group 64th Bomb Squadron. Color photo, Nose Art “Mabels Labels” Consolidated B-24J-140-CO Liberator 42-110155 of the 491st Bomb Group, 852nd Bomb Squadron. Nose art “Heavenly Body”
Ford B-24L-10-FO Liberator Bomber #9504 44-49504 Nose art BOOMERANG 308th Bomb Group B-24 Liberator over Vienna Austria B-24 Bomber Squadron Enroute to Target Consolidated B-24D-20-CO 41-24198 of the 98th Bomb Group, 344th Bomb Squadron 9th AF “The Vulgar Virgin” with crew, North Africa 1943
Ford B-24M-15-FO Liberator Bomber #960 44-50960 of the 11th Bomb Group 98th Bomb Squadron. Nose Art “Tricky Micky” Okinawa 1945 Consolidated B-24L-5-CO Liberator s/n 44-41545 �” AKA “DANCING DOLLY” of the 307th Bomb Group 370th Bomb Squadron 13th AF. Information from John Origlio: http://www.b24bestweb.com/545-v1-1.htm B-24 Liberators during Ploesti Raid 1943 3 B-24J of the 450th Bombardment Group, 722nd Bomb Squadron in Italy. Nose art “Madam Shoo Shoo” 42-99805

Consolidated B-24 Liberator
The design, produced to a USAAC ( United States Army Air Corps) requirement in January 1939, was particularly noteworthy for the very high aspect ratio Davis wing and capacious fuselage. By the time the XB-24 flew on 29th December, 1939, orders had been placed by the USAAC (for seven YB-24 and 36 B-24A for evaluation), France (120) and Great Britain (164). After France fell, the French orders were diverted to Britain, and the first half dozen Liberators (designated LB-30A) were handed over to B.O.A.C. for trans-atlantic ferry flights. Twenty more found their way to RAF Coastal Command as the Liberator Mk I, modified for patrol duties. The first American deliveries were nine B-24As in June 1941, and these too were put into use as transport aircraft. Coastal Command’s Liberator Mk II (which had no US counterpart) incorporated a lengthened nose, additional armament and a crew of ten a few of the 139 delivered were employed as LB-30 transports, one of them becoming Winston Churchill’s personal transport “Commando “. The majority, however, went into action in the bombing role, the first Liberators to do so. Following the flight in America of the XB-24B, an improved model with self-sealing fuel tanks and turbo-supercharged engines, came a batch of nine B-24C and the first major production version (and first US bomber version), the B-24D. Among the 2738 examples of this model were to be found various permutations of gunnery and bomb load, and some of the later series also underwent a change of powerplant.

To the RAF went 260 B-24Ds (with minor modifications) as the Liberator Mk III and Mk 111A, and a further 122 later fitted with ventral and chin radar housings and a Leigh light as Coastal Command’s Mk V. In the summer of 1943 the US Navy took over those USAAF B-24Ds already used for anti-submarine duties, plus a further quantity of the same version, as the PB4Y-1. Several B-24Ds joined with the Fortresses over Europe at this time, and others served in the Mediterranean and Middle East, but it was in the Pacific that the Liberator’s unrivalled range made it particularly useful, and this undoubtedly accounts for its success as a transport as well as a bomber. The Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express transport appeared in the middle war years, 276 being built for the USAAF (United States Army Air Forces), 24 for the RAF and a number as RY-2s for the US Navy. The C-87A and the Navy’s RY-1 were specially fitted for VIP use. Other factories now joined the production team, and the combined efforts of Consolidated, Douglas and Ford produced 791 B-24E, generally similar to the B-24D. North American contributed 430 of the longer, turret-nosed B-24G, and the 3100 B-24Hs also featured a power turret in this position. A substantial number of B-24H were distributed among Bomber and Coastal Commands and FEAF as the Liberator Mk IV. Again very similar to the G model was the B-24J, 6678 of which were built some 1200 of this model were supplied to the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) and further quantities to other Commonwealth air forces. Over 90 B-24H and J Liberators were converted as photo-reconnaissance aircraft with F-7 series designations. The B-24L and M were generally similar to earlier variants apart from tail gunnery changes, 1667 and 2583 respectively being completed. The XB-24K, modified from a D in 1943, led to the single-finned B-24N, but only eight of these were completed before B-24 production ceased in May 1945.
Total production: 18482 bombers.


B-24 Liberator - History

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B-24 Liberator - History

The world's only fully restored and flying consolidated B-24 Liberator is back in the skies after an absence of twenty years. The B-24 fought for our freedom in the skies of Europe and the Pacific through the use of strategic bombing during the Second World War. In order to help preserve this history and honor the veterans, who participated in the war, B-24 serial number 44-44052 has been restored to mint condition under the auspices of the Collings Foundation of Stow, MA.

Over fifty years ago, in August 1944, the Collings Liberator was built at the Consolidated Aircraft Company's Fort Worth, Texas plant. Shortly afterward, the aircraft was delivered to the US Army Air Force and in October of 1944, it was transferred to the Royal Air Force. Under the British flag, the B-24 saw combat in the Pacific Theater in operations ranging from anti-shipping to bombing and re-supply of resistance force operations.

At war's end, the aircraft was abandoned by the RAF in a bomber graveyard in Khanpur, India with the assumption that it would not fly again. However, in 1948, the Indian Air Force succeeded in restoring 36 B-24's, including 44-44052, to operational status. These aircraft were utilized until 1968.

For the next 13 years, the aircraft sat abandoned in India until British aircraft collector, Doug Arnold, obtained it in 1981. The aircraft was disassembled and transported back to England in a Heavy Lift cargo plane. Once in England, the aircraft was advertised for sale in "as is" condition and in 1984, Dr. Robert F. Collings purchased it. After a sea voyage of three weeks, the B-24 arrived in Boston and was brought to Stow, MA in four truckloads.

Collings said that the Foundation intended to restore the plane for static display only, but he was persuaded to restore it to flying status by local B-24 crewmen. "This made it about five times greater a project," Collings said. "We were convinced by the argument that only about three thousand people a year would see a static display, but three million might see it on a nationwide tour.

Preliminary restoration work started in 1985, led by Massachusetts volunteers, most of whom were former crewmen, or sons of crewmen, on B-24's. When Collings decided to make the plane a flying restoration, he contacted Tom Reilly Vintage Aircraft in Kissimmee, FL to do the work on the airframe and powerplant. Volunteers restored the turrets, armament, radios, oxygen system, and cosmetic details. The original builders sponsored work on the Emerson Electric nose turret, PPG Industries of Pittsburgh supplied turret glass, and United Technologies of Hartford, CT donated a Norden bombsight. General Dynamics, a successor to Consolidated Aircraft, the original manufacturers of the B-24 in Fort Worth, TX, was a major sponsor of its restoration.

Collings said the restoration involved complete disassembly of the plane and work on about 80% of the B-24's 1.2 million parts. There was some corrosion and minor damage "plus the desire to make all the systems (engines, props, hydraulics, and electrical) one hundred percent right".

The entire hydraulic plant was replaced or overhauled, and every pulley was replaced. All cables and hardware, the bearings, an electronic strobe system, the batteries, and the radios were donated, along with installation advice and assistance.

The fuselage was in reasonably good shape, but twenty percent of its skin still had to be replaced. More than 420,000 rivets were replaced, as well as fuel cells, brake tubes, tires, and windows. Most of these parts were donated.

The Collings B-24 was originally named "All American" in honor of a 15th Air Force B-24 with the same name. The original "All American" set a record when its gunners shot down fourteen enemy fighters in a single raid over Germany on July 25, 1944. The plane was lost on October 4, 1944 when it was shot down over Yugoslavia.


Watch the video: B-24 Liberator. История создания, боевое применение. (July 2022).


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