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The Consolidated Aircraft Corporation began work on a new heavy bomber, the B-24 Liberator in 1939. However, it was not until April, 1942, that the Liberator went into combat. It had a maximum speed of 303 mph (488 km) and had a range of 2,850 miles (4,585 km). It was 66 ft 4 in (22.22 m) long with a wingspan of 110 ft (33.52 m). The aircraft, which had a crew of eight, was armed with 10 machine-guns and could carry 8,800 lb (4.000 kg) of bombs.
It had greater operational range than the B-17 Flying Fortress and a total of 19,203 Liberators were built between 1942 and 1945. In three years it dropped 635,000 tons (635 million kg) of bombs and brought down 4,189 enemy aircraft. As well as the United States Air Force the Royal Air Force also ordered 1,694 and saw service with Bomber Command during the Second World War.
The Liberator was a popular aircraft which; could fly over the weather, was fast, and could easily do Gander to Prestwick non-stop without going in to Greenland or Iceland for fuel. It was always outrageously overloaded, several tons above its designed gross weight. Furthermore, it had a very fine-sectioned wing which used to flex in alarming fashion in turbulent air. It frankly frightened me, and I could not ignore the thought that in very turbulent cloud a wing might fail: in fact several Liberators did disappear at night in bad weather on the South Atlantic crossings. In San Diego, California, I later met a man who had been intimately concerned with the design of the Liberator wing. Pinning him down, I explained that I. had flown this aeroplane, very overloaded, and had not been happy to see the wing flex so much in turbulent air; so would he please explain to me just how it stayed on. He looked at me with a cynical smile and in a soft but significant drawl remarked, "That's something I've been trying to figure out myself."
B-24 Liberator - History
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B-24, also called Liberator, long-range heavy bomber used during World War II by the U.S. and British air forces. It was designed by the Consolidated Aircraft Company (later Consolidated-Vultee) in response to a January 1939 U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) requirement for a four-engined heavy bomber. The B-24 was powered by four air-cooled radial engines and had a spacious boxlike fuselage slung beneath a high wing, a tricycle landing gear, and a twin tail assembly. The first prototype flew in December 1939, and, by the spring of 1941, B-24s were being delivered to the British Royal Air Force on a cash-and-carry basis. Early models of the B-24 lacked self-sealing fuel tanks and the heavy defensive armament deemed essential by the USAAF for a strategic daylight bomber therefore, they were used primarily to transport high-priority cargo and VIPs (British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used one as his personal transport) and for antisubmarine patrols. Antisubmarine B-24s, some fitted with radar, played a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic and were instrumental in closing the mid-Atlantic “gap” where German U-boats had previously operated with impunity.
The first version of the Liberator considered battle-worthy by the USAAF was the B-24D, with turbo-supercharged engines and powered turrets mounting twin 0.50-inch (12.7-mm) machine guns on the upper fuselage and tail. Subsequent models acquired additional armament, and the B-24H and J models, which began entering service in early 1944, added powered nose and belly turrets and sported a total of 10 0.50-inch machine guns. Like the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 was flown in defensive “box” formations, though the boxes could not be stacked as closely because the Liberator was appreciably more difficult to fly in formation. Also like the B-17, it carried the Norden bombsight. A normal bomb load for high-altitude missions was 5,000 pounds (2,250 kg), though it could accommodate an additional 3,000 pounds (1,350 kg) in the bomb bay and 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) on external racks beneath the wings for short-range missions. On high-altitude missions the Liberator had a maximum range of nearly 1,600 miles (2,600 km)—40 percent greater than that of its partner the B-17—but it had a service ceiling of only 28,000 feet (8,500 metres), some 7,000 feet (2,100 metres) below that of the B-17. As a result, the B-24 was more exposed to German antiaircraft artillery this and the B-24’s greater vulnerability to battle damage (the leaky fuel system was a particular problem) made the B-17 the preferred strategic bomber in the European theatre. Still, B-24s equipped one entire bomb division of the 8th Air Force and, because of their greater range, were assigned some of the most difficult targets in the latter stages of the war in Europe.
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.
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]
B-24 Liberator Characteristics
|Armament||Eleven .50-cal. machine guns: nose, left & right cheek, two top turret, two ball turret, left and two right waist and tail|
|Normal bomb load||8,000 pounds|
|Engines||Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830s of 1,200 horsepower each|
|Maximum speed||303 mph|
|Cruising speed||175 mph|
|Length||66 feet 4 in.|
|Height||17 feet 11 in.|
|Weight||56,000 lbs. maximum|
Legacy of the Liberator
The B-24 Liberator, even with all of its flaws managed to make a name for itself during World War II. It was a clear example of how powerful American production was during the war, especially in Willow Run. Being able to put out a larger arsenal than its adversary at every corner. On a more personal level, the experience of flying in a B-24 was something most pilots of the plane will remember the rest of their lives. One of those being from Charlie Taylor, a former B-24 pilot which flew on the same mission as Phillip Ardery on the oil fields at Ploesti, Romania. He accounts his memories while flying in the newly restored B-24. Ending his flight saying, “If I died right here today. I’d be a happy man.” (Sheehan 2008) Aside from these things, those that were involved in the production of the B-24’s at Willow Run bomber plant have made history. These men and women were a huge contribution to the reason that the Liberator was such a successful bomber throughout its time in service. Without these people the United States would not have been able to build up such a large arsenal of bomber planes to assist the Allies in successfully combating the Axis powers.
World War Photos
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
Home of the World Famous "FIFI" and " Diamond Lil"
The B-29/B-24 Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force brings together the aircraft, pilots and crews from over 70 CAF units across the country to create the AirPower Squadron &ndash an ever changing assortment of military aircraft touring together to bring the sights, sounds and smells of World War II aviation history to audiences across the United States.
The AirPower Squadron always includes at least one of the two rarest World War II bombers in the world &ndash FIFI, the most famous, flying Boeing B-29 Superfortress and Diamond Lil, an equally rare B-24 Liberator. Aircraft accompanying the B-29 or B-24 will include other World War II aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-25 Mitchell, along with an assortment of fighters, trainers and liaison aircraft.
Check the tour schedule to see when the tour will be in your area and to learn which airplanes will be at each stop.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, having the longer range and greater bomb loads necessary for operations in the World War II Pacific theater. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.
FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was being used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and flew for over thirty years until 2006 when the chief pilot made the decision to ground her pending a complete power plant re-fit. What followed was an extensive four year restoration that included replacing all four engines with new custom built hybrid engines. FIFI returned to the sky in 2010 and since that time has traveled coast to coast attracting large crowds at every tour stop. Learn more about FIFI at www.cafB29B24.org .
About the B-24, Diamond Lil
Contracted to be built for France in 1940 and later contracted to be diverted to Great Britain as AM927, this Liberator was the 25th built out of a total of 18,482 B-24s. The total number built is documented as 19,267 with the inclusion of all variants. This aircraft’s construction was completed as serial number 18 and accepted by the British Air Ministry in May 1941. Two days later, a Consolidated Aircraft Company (CAC) aircrew flew AM927 to Kansas City and handed it over to Trans World Airlines (TWA). TWA had been contracted to conduct flight crew training out of Albuquerque, NM. AM927 was then flown to what was called the TWA “Eagle’s Nest Flight Center” in Albuquerque, NM to be used to train RAF pilots.
The following month, Frank Burcham and Ned MacKrille, TWA instructor pilots, were practicing landings. The right main brake locked up during landing and aircraft departed the runway. The right gear collapsed, followed by a nose gear failure, before they came to a stop. There was also significant damage to the bomb bay. Consolidated initiated a recovery effort over the next 6 months and in December of 1941, the aircraft was flown back to the Consolidated Aircraft Company in San Diego. Due to the aircraft being damaged too far to be returned to service as a bomber, but still flyable, a loan arrangement was made between the British Ministry and Consolidated Aircraft Company for the company to keep possession of AM927 for logistic support and further B-24 development.
AM927 was immediately utilized as the C-87 Liberator Express prototype and returned to service in July 1942. Throughout the war, the aircraft was used to haul personnel and equipment between the five B-24 production plants and numerous vendors. She was also used extensively for flight test purposes developing such things as improved flight control characteristics for the later model Liberator bombers. After the war’s end in November of 1945, actual ownership of AM927 was given to Consolidated Vultee. At this time the aircraft was given registration number NL24927. Numerous modifications were made between 1945 and 1947 to improve performance and sustainability that included the long RY-3 nose and PBY nacelle assemblies.
On November 10, 1948 the aircraft was sold to the Continental Can Company. The aircraft was repainted and outfitted with a luxury interior. The company utilized AM927 for executive transport and cross-country flights between its North American plants for the next 10 years.
In April 1959 the aircraft was sold and exported to the Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Mexican state-owned petroleum company. The Registration became XC-CAY and it was used to transport personnel throughout Latin America and the United States. In 1967, Pemex decided to upgrade and replace AM927 with a DC-6 aircraft. At this time, AM927 was loaned to the Commemorative Air Force who eventually took full ownership of the aircraft in May 1968. It was Registered as N12905 until 1990 when it was Registered as N24927. In 1972, AM927 was painted in the colors of the 98th BG, of the Ploesti Raid, and given the name Diamond Lil. During 2006-2007 the aircraft was reconfigured back to her B-24A/RLB-30 roots and was given the Ol' 927 nose art.
In April 2012, the CAF’s long-time Liberator legacy and nose art Diamond Lil was returned. On May 26, 2012, Diamond Lil experienced a complete hydraulic failure and suffered a subsequent nose gear collapse, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Temporary repairs were made and the aircraft was flown back to Addison, Texas. Because of the need to fabricate many replacement parts, restoration was not complete until July of 2013.
Since mid-2013, Diamond Lil has been touring the U.S. providing new and older generations the opportunity to experience this rare aircraft through aircraft tours and ride flights.
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.
Today in History: Born on June 27
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