Happy Birthday To The Consolidated B-24 Liberator

The Commemorative Air Force B-24 "Diamond lil" ( Photo by Scott Slocum)
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

The Commemorative Air Force B-24 "Diamond lil" ( Photo by Scott Slocum)
The Commemorative Air Force’s B-24A “Diamond lil” ( Photo by Scott Slocum)

By Aviation Enthusiasts LLC

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator flew for the first time 76 years ago today. Newer, more efficient and more versatile than the B-17 Flying Fortress, more Liberators were built than any other military aircraft in American history. In addition to being used as a heavy bomber, the B-24 also served as a long-range maritime patrol and transport aircraft. Tricycle landing gear was a modern feature of the Liberator and the deep fuselage was designed so the 4-ton bomb-load could be stored vertically. Extensively used in the Pacific, Mediterranean, European and and China-Burma-India theaters, the Liberator’s most famous single mission was a daylight raid against the Romanian oilfields at Ploesti on August 1, 1943. Winston Churchill used a modified B-24 as his personal transport.

Here is a photo of the Collings Foundation’s B-24J Liberator “Witchcraft” at the 2010 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.


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  1. My uncle was navigator in B-24’s out of Pantanella, Italy and once had to bail out, landing in Mussolini’s private game preserve! After the war he went to pilot school in California and flew the B-50 (weather version of B-29) out of Japan.

  2. The 24 flew higher, faster, further, and carried more load than a B-17. While not as glamorous as the -17 in the eyes of the public, the B-24 was indeed the workhorse bomber of the American military during WWII. It’s sad indeed that so few remain flying today.

    • The B-17 crews would tell you that (a) the B-24 was the crate they packed the B-17 in, (b) that while the B-24 would get you home sooner, but that the B-17 would get you home more often.

    • It was designed by Consolidated of San Diego, but it was built by 5 different manufacturers/plants: Consolidated/San Diego; Consolidated/Fort Worth; Ford/Willow Run; North American/Tulsa; and Douglas/Tulsa. Ford built half of the B-24’s produced.

  3. The original Rosie-the-Riveter, Rose Will Monroe, was really a riveter on these great B-24s at Willow Run during WWII. More importantly to me she was my mother. She wanted to fly during WWII but was denied that because she was a widow with two small children which were my brother and sister . Decades later mom earned her pilots license and introduce me to Aviation and I am now a commercial pilot. I think she would be proud .

  4. Worked on a B-24 (parts of) at General Dynamics…Stan Pace was the CEO.

    Heard he flew one in WWII ..had to bail out.

    Was painted as the “All American”..have Polaroids of kids and wife along side at Convair in San Diego…believe this plane went on to be “Witchcraft.


  5. One of my favorite Science Fiction writers was a B-24 pilot named Harry Stubbs. He wrote using the pen name “Hal Clement.” “Hal” is an old fashioned nickname for Harry; “Clement” was his middle name, taken from his mother’s maiden name. I knew him personally from 1969 until he died. We named an award for him when he was still alive to enjoy the honor; it is for SF written for teenagers–he was a high school science teacher after the War.

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