Consolidated B-24 "Liberator"
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John Doran, e-mail, 30.03.2021 19:17

Hi Leonard,

I have a friend whose Dad flew as a ball turret gunner on the B-24 β€œRuff Knights”. His name is Joe Bigley.

Could we share some photos of the plane and crew during WW2?


Lyn Scott, e-mail, 20.08.2020 23:06

My father David Love, was the pilot that actually was shot down flying the Perils of Pauline August 5, 1944. He and one other man, the engineer, survived and were taken as POWs. He passed in 2002. A courageous group of men.


Steve Leathers, e-mail, 22.07.2017 09:41

My father was a pilot for a b-24 bomber named "boomerang" (not the classic kangaroo with a bomb in its hand & one in its pouch. The nose art was a calm kangaroo with a vicious baby roo in its pouch (teeth & drooling) with a boomerang in his hand. My father was Oscar Luther Leathers. Does anyone have any information &/or pictures?


TJ Meyer, e-mail, 07.10.2015 12:54

Hello. I work for NASA Wallops Flight Facility, formerly the Chincoteague Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Chincoteague Virginia. A number of B-24 Squadrons (VB-103, 105, 107 and 110) were initially formed at Chinco and many additional replacement crews trained here. I have spoken to about 10 former B-24 crew members and would like to hear from more. Pleae feel free to contact me at theodore.j.meyer@nasa.gov. I will gladly share info and photos.


George James Delgado, e-mail, 18.04.2015 06:42

Response to Kelly Taylor's post:
How do you do! I read your post dated 3/1/15. This is the first time I have been back on this web site in a while and I saw your post about Mr. Rekow and his barber shop. Thank you for the very interesting information. My cousin, Manuel Trevino Jr., was a very interesting person. His wife is still alive and living in Bakersfield California along with my cousin's sons and daughters, whom I have never met. Jessie Trevino is Bambino's (my cousin's nickname)wife and she is about my older brother's age, about 85 years old now.
My older brother is a Korea War veteran. My twin brother and I were Vietnam veterans. I served in Korea in 1965 and Gilbert, my twin, served 3 tours in Vietnam with the Marines, fighting in the jungles during search and destroy operations. Gilbert was in the Navy but was assigned with the Marines. The military used us where ever they needed us.
Well, I don't want to make a short story long, so I will end for tonight. Today is Friday, April 17, 2015.
God Bless,
George James Delgado
El Paso, TX
Cell is 915-615-9002


merle fister, e-mail, 07.04.2015 22:41

Flew out of Italy. 454th Bomb Group. Bombed Ploesti Oil fields 3 times. 500 heavy guns on ground shooting at us. Direct hit #3 engine. Caught fire. shut down engine. Used fire bootle. Fire out. Hydraulic system shot out. Nose wheel flat. No brakes or flaps on landing. Lost #2 engine on base leg. Lost #1 as we entered final. Lost last engine on touch down. Flew 50 missions in 3 months. Came home to fly P-38's for the war with Japan. Abomb dropped so no need for me. Stayed in 28 years and flew 25 kinds of planes. Bombers, fighters, transports, etc. Became a Radar Instructor and communications specialist. And a planner/programmer of communications equipment. Started out as a Private and ended as a Colonel in the pentagon.


Grant, e-mail, 02.04.2015 23:56

I saw a picture of a B24 over France. The upper gunner was waving at his buddy as he took his picture. The wing was just coming off and I have not seen this picture again. Its history frozen in time. IT needs to be found. Thanks Grant


Gerry Cabot (Capatch), e-mail, 13.02.2015 23:02

I flew 27 missions out of England with the 458th Bomb Group.based in Norwich during 1944and 1945. Looking for any crew still alive or anyone who flew at the same time. I am 90 years old and hope there are other members of my crew alive. Crew included Andy Anderson (NJ), Dave Minsker(Mich), Matt Dorfman (CA), Joe Thomas(IL), Joe Cohen(MA), Mac Swafford(OK), Edgar Phillips, Duane Smith (IL), J Howard Sweeney. (KY)


Kelly Taylor, e-mail, 03.01.2015 04:14

George James Delgado. Hope you see this post. If you ever get to a little town called Emmett, Idaho, you must step into my barber Ron Rekow's barber shop for a hair cut. It will be one of the great experiences of your life. He was the engineer on your cousin's B-24. He's an amazing guy. 92 years old and still gets up to cut hair 5-days a week. He said he is the last of your cousin's crew still around. My email is kandktaylor10@msn.com. Again, I hope you see this post and get ahold of me.


Barry flewitt, e-mail, 08.09.2014 21:30

On the 23th Aug 1944. Two newly refurbished B-24s were on a training flight from Warton Aerodrome, Lancashire, England. There was a sudden and violent storm. The air traffic control ordered the B-24s back to base. One of the aeroplanes crashed in nearby Freckleton. Hitting houses, a cafι and a primary school. The fuel caught fire. There was a heavy casualty list of civilians, children and service personnel from GB and the USA. This year. 2014. There was a special event to mark the 70th anniversary of the tragedy.People still come from the States to visit the site, where there is a memorial. The Warton airfield is now owned and run by British Aerospace.


Leroy McVay, e-mail, 13.07.2014 06:28

Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle, about 1956. Reserve squdron, pilot shooting touch-n-gos. Touched little too hard, broke PB4Y2's back. Crew in aft compartment suddenly had a sky light and could hear engings rev up for go around. Tower saw incident and called Abort!


George James Delgado, e-mail, 19.03.2014 04:31

As additional information to my original commentary note, Lt. Manuel Trevino,Jr. piloted the Yankee Doodle Dandy B-24 Liberator in the South Pacific.


Billy Grubb, e-mail, 28.01.2014 22:41

My oldest brother flew 35 missions and had hand full of flac from the cockpit. He was Captain George L. Grubbs at that time. Retired as Col. Grubbs. Never talked much about the war but the B24 always brought him and his crew home. Some were wounded including him.


George James Delgado, e-mail, 20.12.2013 04:48

Hello!

My cousin, Manuel Trevino Jr., was a pilot on the Yankee Doodle Dandy during WWII. He was a 2nd Lt.(received his wings when he just celebrated his 19th birthday)and had 66 missions which included downing 7 Jap fighters. He flew out of Port Moresby, New Guinea. He later became a 1st Lt. and received two Air Medals with clusters. "Bombino" (his nickname) was born here in El Paso, Texas but later moved to Superior Arizona, where my uncle Manny started a music shop and later moved to Oxnard, CA. He was a great guy (he passed away in 2003) and I miss him very much. He served in the 90 Bomb Group, Jolly Rogers.


Mark, e-mail, 20.09.2012 17:42

B-24


Πρόκειται για ένα βαρύ βομβαρδιστικό της αεροπορίας των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών. Εμφανίστηκε πρώτη φορά στις αμερικανικές δυνάμεις το 1941, αλλά η μαζική του παραγωγή ξεκίνησε το 1943, με μέγιστη παραγωγή 650 βομβαρδιστικών ανά μήνα το 1944. Ήταν το μεγαλύτερο σε παραγωγή βαρύ βομβαρδιστικό των Συμμάχων κατά τον 2ο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, αφού κατασκευάστηκαν συνολικά πάνω από 18.000 τέτοια αεροπλάνα και παραμένει μέχρι σήμερα το μεγαλύτερο σε παραγωγή στρατιωτικό αεροσκάφος της Αμερικής. Χρησιμοποιήθηκε από σχεδόν όλες τις αεροπορικές και ναυτικές δυνάμεις των Συμμάχων, κερδίζοντας ένα ρεκόρ συμμετοχής στις επιχειρήσεις του πολέμου, στη Δυτική Ευρώπη, στον Ειρηνικό, στη Μεσόγειο και στην Ασία. Η ονομασία Liberator δόθηκε αρχικά από τη RAF και υιοθετήθηκε αργότερα από τη USAAF, ως επίσημο όνομα. Η παραγωγή του σταμάτησε το 1945 με το τέλος του πολέμου

Είχε πλήρωμα 7-10 ανδρών, μήκος 20 μέτρων, άνοιγμα φτερών 33.5 μέτρα, μέγιστη ταχύτητα 470 χλμ/ώρα, ακτίνα δράσης 3.400 χλμ και μέγιστο φορτίο πυρομαχικών 3.6 τόνους. Μπορούσε να μεταφέρει 3.6 τόνους πυρομαχικών ενώ διέθετε μια συστοιχία πολυβόλων 12.7 χιλιοστών M2 Browning σε 6 θέσεις για άμυνα σε αεροπορικές επιθέσεις. Σε σχέση με το πιο γνωστό B-17 Flying Fortress, είχε πιο σύχρονη τεχνολογία, μεγαλύτερη ταχύτητα, μεγαλύτερη ακτίνα δράσης και μετέφερε μεγαλύτερο όγκο πυρομαχικών, αλλά μικρότερη ευελιξία και μεγαλύτερο κίνδυνο πυρκαγιάς ή έκρηξης από εχθρικά πυρά, λόγω της θέσης των δεξαμενών καυσίμου. Το B-24 αποτέλεσε το 1/3 της δύναμης αεροπορικού βομβαρδισμού της USAAF, ένω τα άλλα 2/3 αφορούσαν τα B-17. To B-24 κατασκευάστηκε σε πάρα πολλές εκδόσεις τόσο από τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, όσο και από τη Μεγάλη Βρετανία, δίνοντας του και άλλους ρόλους όπως αναγνωριστικό, μεταγωγικό cargo, καυσίμων, προσωπικού και για περιπολίες


Jennifer, e-mail, 01.05.2012 19:15

My grandfather, Felix DeJean, was a pilot or co-pilot of a b24. He was in the 514 squadron, 376 group. I'm looking for any information that anyone may have. thank you.


jim vail, e-mail, 24.04.2012 16:59

My brother claude Vail pilot of the no 1 crew 451st bomb group 724 squadron shot down mar 11 flying lead on a mission over Toulan france bombing the submarine base. Loved flying the B24. His stateside plane was Adolph&Tojo the the plane they had in Italy was the Peacemaker


greg lauer, e-mail, 02.04.2012 03:15

my grandfather was in b 24 in ww2. was downed serveral times but we have no idea what planes. only have a photo marked korea and a b24 with 939 on the nose.
his name was samuel parker shelley. he was from milton ky and inlisted in ohio i think. honorably discharged in july of 45 where it is listed section 1 112th army air corps.
any help is more than i have


Herb Guiness, e-mail, 28.03.2012 02:06

I was the command pilot of a B-24 H model that we ditched in the Adriatic Sea in June of 1944. The plane didn't ditch very well and the tail broke off, but 8 of us survived and were rescued in our life raft by the RAF..


Alice Soliwoda, e-mail, 24.03.2012 13:42

My father-in-laws brother was a tail gunner in the 790 Bombardment Squadron 467th Bombardment group. I know he came back on the RMS Queen Mary from Scotland on July 11 1945. He past in 1966 and do not have much info other than that. If any one has any info that you can share, it would be greatly appreciated.


Wayne, e-mail, 02.02.2012 17:45

I have a friend that has a complete original set of manuals in the leather case. They are in perfect condition and have the name CH Hane imprinted on them.


Bruce Parker, e-mail, 21.01.2012 17:12

My father, Thomas Parker, was an inspector at the Willow Run assembly plant - thus my birthplace of Ann Arbor. My cousin, TH Canady, was a B-24 pilot in Europe and went on to a distinguished career with the Air Force. I was lucky enough to get to Oshkosh in 2008, had a chance to get inside the B-24 - and recognized hardware bits my dad had in the shop, little bakelite pulleys, etc.; I still have an exhaust valve [unfilled and uncapped]. The form-follows-function beauty of the B-24 is still stunning; add the heroism of the flight and ground crews, and this is a stirring episode of man's endeavors.


Joe, e-mail, 27.11.2011 04:42

My father in law George Insley piloted 53 missions on B24s out of England during the war. I am very PROUD to have him as a father in law.


Judi (Beaney) Dudley, e-mail, 08.11.2011 19:41

My Dad, Elroy W. Beaney was the pilot on "Perils of Pauline." He passed away May 29, 2000. He never spoke of
the war. If there's anyone with any info on him during that time...I'd love to hear about it. Always, Judi (Roy
Beaney's middle daughter)


Leonard V. Porter, Jr, Lt Col , e-mail, 08.11.2011 05:51

I flew a B-24J in Combat in WW II. We were in the 7th AF,30th BG, 38th Sq. We flew 40 Combat missions out of Saipan against the Japanese, Primarily IWO JIMA and CHICHI JIMA. Our aircraft, Ruff Knights, was hit by Flac and/or fighters on 29 of those missions. On one mission after bombing Iwo Jima, we were hit by flac and after bombs away shadowed another B-24 who had been hit and lost altitude down to about 500 feet. We visually picked him up, descended so we could keep him in sight and escorted him back to Saipan. We were both low on fuel due to weather and damage. He landed ahead of me and ran out of fuel on touchdown and ran off the runway. I touched down almost on his heels and ran out of fuel after turning off runway. We had been in the air 12 hours and 55 minutes.
I loved flying the B-24 and never considered it difficult to fly. I felt I could do almost any maneuver with it and capped off a single acft mission with an approved fighter pass and pull up tight turn turn and landing. After combat and return to states I flew the B-17 and felt it to be "Mickey Mouse" Not for me. Pilots who complained the B-24 was hard to fly apparently did not know about trim tabs.


T-SGT H.G.GERHARD, e-mail, 02.09.2011 00:17

CAPT.BILL WETZEL'S CREW OF 10..FLEW 32 MISSIONS..IN THE EIGHT AIR FORCE..SECOND AIR DIV..446 BOMB GROUP..705 SQDRN..FLIXTON AIR BASE..BUNGAY,ENGLAND..IN "THE BATTLE DRAGON"..B24J..AND THEN FLEW HER BACK TO THE STATES. NOT A BETTER BOMBER WAS MADE FOR OUR JOB.


Louis Piazza, e-mail, 02.08.2011 20:58

My 91 year old brother in law flew the fuel and cargo version of the B-24, called the C-109 and C-87 as a hump pilot from November 1944 to Sept 1945. This area was known as the worst flying weather in the world, as heavy loads of fuel and cargo were being carried over the Himalayan Mountains from India to China to support the Flying Tigers as well as the Chinese Army fighting the Japanese.


Steve Wellen, e-mail, 17.06.2011 01:27

My Dad was a B24 pilot and instructor I still have many manuals and flight instruction books. He always said they had the gliding angle of a rock. Landed one at Lunken Airfield here in Cincinnati during WWII


Greg Janusz, e-mail, 28.05.2011 00:49

My Dad Was in the Jolly Rodger 90th Bomb Group in Nadzab, New Guinea in late 1941. He flew the " Yankee Doodle Dandy " / " Twin Nifty's" / " Dinky " and a few other planes from that group. I was sent a Mission Report from one of his missions which was very interesting.
A historian sent it to me while I was researching my Dad's time in the Army Air Corps. I hope this site will stay available to all who seek information and the history about this remarkable aircraft, but especially for their Remarkable Crews....


Ross Rainwater, e-mail, 24.05.2011 07:23

My late father, Tsgt Roy L. Rainwater, was an original crew flight engineer on "Perils of Pauline" in the 790th Squadron 467th BG, flying a few missions on the famous "Witchcraft." After successfully flying the "Southern Route to the UK, the pilot, Elroy Beaney, landed downwind (!) and cracked up on the end of the runway. Dad finished his 35 missions before "The Pauline" (as he always called her) was shot down with only two survivors (one of them, the flight engineer).


C J Leleux, e-mail, 23.05.2011 02:43

I was an aircraft and engine mechanic on B-24's from late 1942 until July 1945. I served in the 448th BG, 715th BS and in the 491st BG, 855th BS. I am a retired Chemical Engineerliving in Houston, Texas.


John R. Weyler, e-mail, 19.05.2011 17:32

I was a lead pilot in the 791st bomb squadron of the 467th bomb group out of Rackheath in East Anglia, England. My crew and I were very lucky that none of us were injured although our aircraft took a lot of flac. The B-24 was much harder to fly than the B-17 until the B-24 M was manufactured with a hydraulic booster control.


John Blair, e-mail, 10.05.2011 02:54

I was the nose turret gunner/ordnanceman on a PB4Y1 in Patrol Bombing Squadron 107, an ASW squadron, flying out of Natal, Brazil, Ascention Island, & Dunkswell/Uppottery, England. Not many of us left.


Janet Convertini, e-mail, 05.04.2011 21:35

My Dad, Harold Straub, was the Flight Engineer on a B-24 named Jezebelle. He was in the 529th Squadron, 380th Bomb Group. Spent 1943 flying out of Darwin, Australia.....I have a love affair with this plane, in my eyes it is the most beautiful plane ever flown, it brought my Dad safely back through every mission flown......

Pop has been gone for 8 years, but I am so very proud of him and all those that have served their country and are serving now......We should give our complete support and gratitude to each and everyone of them......


JOHN R. BOYD, e-mail, 26.03.2011 14:17

WHY NO MENTION OF THE C-87?


Ted Robinson, e-mail, 21.03.2011 23:57

My dad, DA Robinson Jr, was B24 pilot, 514th sq, 376th group. Was stationed at Benghazi and launched on first Ploesti raid. Later we lived at Sewart TN. Right across the street from Col Paul Tibbets. My dad always told us kids that you don't know what fear is until you see your pal's plane erupt in a fiery explosion flying off your wing. He died in 2002. He in many ways to me was the greatest guy who ever lived.


James, e-mail, 06.03.2011 14:29

My father in law, James D. Jelley (LTC USAF Ret) was a B24 pilot and flew 48 missions in the B24 from Guadalcanal and on up the Solomon Chain in the 307th "Long Rangers". On mission 22 he was shot down by a Jap Zero after making a 2nd pass over Rabaul while bombing a Jap heavy cruiser, flying from Guadalcanal. His bombs hung on the first pass and he was ordered to go back, there were 5 other B24's that also had bombs left and went with him. One crewmember, a gunner, was killed and all but others bailed out safely. One gunner's chute did not open and he did a 1200 ft "swan dive" into the ocean - and lived! Jim and his co pilot were injured, Jim in the arm and the copilot in the leg and they flew the B24 until it ran out of gas as the injured gunner was still alive and jumping was out of the question for him. Jim flew the rudders and the copilot flew the yoke. They were picked up after a few hours by a Navy Captain in a PBY. Jim retired in 1967 from the USAF and died May 2010. He always treasured his crew and memories of his B24, "Shehasta".

On another B24 mission over the Pacific, Jim was carrying the payroll for the Americal Division to New Caledonia, I think, when he lost 3 engines. Crew dumped everything overboard to make the plane lighter, including the PAYROLL. After landing he explained where the money was and said he "signed a report giving the location" and that is all that was ever said.

Jim's memory lives on.

James


Kadesh, 23.02.2011 19:45

Called them Privateers but they weren't B-24s. They looked alot like them though, but had several differences, one of which was they came much later.


Bob, e-mail, 17.02.2011 23:10

The navy version of the B-24 had a different name than Liberator. Can anyone supply that name? Also the navy "liberator" had a conventional tail with high fin and rudder rather than the twin end plate as shown in the photo. thanx


THOMAS J. FLAHERTY, e-mail, 14.02.2011 07:50

I would like to purchase a set of B-24 manuals in the briefcase issued by Consolidated.


Smoke Pfeiffer, e-mail, 31.01.2011 19:53

My father was a B-24 pilot, first stationed in North Africa and then Italy. 55 Combat missions and finished WWII as a major; finished Korea as a Lt. Col., and retired in the mid 70's as a bird Col. He died in 1999. Less than a month before, I had given him a big book on the history of the B-24 for Father's Day. After he died, I had it shipped to the only remaining crewman on his ship, a waist gunner. I received a very nice letter in return.
When I was a child, I never learned the normal kid's stories. I was one of 4 brothers. One night before his Air Force reserve meeting, he could not find any of our kids books so he read us to sleep from the B-24 maintenance manual and the Universal Code of Military Justice. Years later, he told me that the first time was an accident. However, since all 4 of us were alseep in a maximum of 7 minutes, the many times after that were all deliberate.


Mike Holl, e-mail, 29.12.2010 21:08

My Dad (still alive, 94, at this writing) was B24 pilot w/485th BG, 830th Sq, out of Venossa Italy. Wasn't until I got interested in flying myself 25 yrs ago that he'd talk much about it & then I did some reading/research. He did 50 missions, & holy crap, from what I've read is incredibly lucky to be alive. He says the fighters didn't scare them so much, it was that terrible flak. The inhumanity of it all affected him. About the only time I've seen tears in his eyes was when I shipped-out to VietNam, & now I know why.


Calvin D Pigman, e-mail, 18.12.2010 23:58

Assigned to the 55Th. Reconnaisance Squadron, long range weather, (attached to the 20th. A.F.), I was the copilot of B-24m (#449517). While we were flying through a typhoon, taking weather readings, we encountered a storm center (i. e. embedded thunderstorm). Our plane was subjected to a violent updraft and then a violent downdraft. Afterwards we found that the horizontal stabilizer was no longer parallel to the wings and that several antennas were broken off. After one more test flight the plane was scrapped but IT BROUGHT US HOME!


Bill Grubb, e-mail, 12.12.2010 21:11

My older brother George Grubb was a B-24 pilot an did not talk much about his bomb runs but had a bucket full of flak. I remember him telling my dad that he flew 33 missions and bombed Polesti oil fields and that was all I remembered. The AF Museum in Dayton, OH. has a B24 an I have enjoyed visiting it twice..I was a B-36 an B-52 Tech.


Muraleedharan Nair. K, e-mail, 24.11.2010 18:46

Fantastic flying machine. From the war point of view, it had killed hundreds of innocent young men but brought back credentials. During my early training years I was familiarised on Wright Cyclones. I had an opportunity to be in a team to service a B24 for display purposes. I also keep a memento geven to me by my section head, at the time of his retirement back in 1966. It is a brocken mirror reflector used in the gun sight recovered from a war damaged B24. I also have read hundreds of pages of B24 history. Those were the days my friends. Difficult to forget history!!
Murali
Aircraft Engineer and Scientist (Retd)


marvin lesser, e-mail, 23.10.2010 19:12

Following basic training in Shepherd Field,Tx in late 1944 was classified as mechanic gunner and assigned to Biloxi,Mississippi to learn about B-24s and as a high scorer was given the option to train as a B-32 flight engineer. This ended my relationship with the B-32 and in my next assignment to Liberal, Kansas I crewed as a PFC flight engineer on B-24s,training single engine pilots to fly multi engine aircraft. This was hairy stuff as we did multple take-offs and landings but the 50% flight pay was good adding $27/month to my pocket and th hot choclate and donuts on the flight line was welcome. After a stint at Randolph field crew chiefing some AT-6s for guys getting in their 4 hours to collect their flight pay and with the war coming to an end I was on my way to CampStoneman,California via Truax Field, Wisc. After over 3 weeks on the USAT Etolin crossing the Pacific I set foot on Okinawa and then Kadena Field where I spent almost a year working on B-29s


George A. White, Col USAF (Ret, e-mail, 12.10.2010 07:36

My dad built B-24's at the Consolidated plant near Ft. Worth, Texas during WWII. I have always been proud of his contribution to the war effort by helping build these great bomber aircraft that flew their missions and brought so many fliers back to base even after unbelievable battle damage.


Fred Becchetti, e-mail, 27.09.2010 03:17

She wasn't a pretty plane like the B-17, but she took me and my crew over Nazi Europe and through the flak of Berlin, Munich, Paris, Gotha and a total of 35 targets and brought me back safely to the 8th Air Force's 445th Bomb Group in Tibenham, England, in the summer of 1944, so I don't care if she wasn't pretty. But maybe we were just lucky, because the 8th AF was losing 100 bombers per month at that time. Being in a bomber over Europe was the most dangerous place to be in WWII. I'm glad to be alive. FB


Dick Malewiski, e-mail, 11.08.2010 00:06

My Dad was a B-24 pilot with the 448th Bomb Group out of Seething. He finished with 33 missions, including one coming back with a lot of the tail shot off, and another so low on fuel an engine cut out just on landing and one on taxi. Various other damage on most of the missions and it took both pilot and co-pilot to keep them in the air on the way home. He took movies from the cockpit on several bomb runs showing flak and attacks from ME-109's. I need to get those restored. Harold Kennedy has a website of the 448th.


Jim Leggett, e-mail, 29.07.2010 19:07

The late Captain D.M.(Don) Teal RAFC penned a two-page first person account of the crash of a Liberator on a mountain top in Arran, off the Scottish coast, on August 9 1941. Teal, asked to officiate at the Arran funeral, missed death when a second flght he was to be on crashed on takeoff at Prestwick killing all aboard August 13 1941. Forty-four crew in all were lost. The full story and pictures are scheduled to be published in the Arran newspaper next week. Thought readers of this site may find this of interest. Jim Leggett. email; photo_writer@yahoo.com


John Gormley, e-mail, 05.05.2010 22:34

My father, Tsgt John E. Gormley, was in the 90th Bomb Group "Jolly Rogers" and was KIA on 13OCT43 coming off the first daytime bombing run on Rabaul, flying out of Port Moresby. I was 4 months old and never got to know this hero who gave his life for our country at age 26.
Freedom isn't free!


William Zane, e-mail, 30.04.2010 00:15

I was a 455th Group lead pilot flying off the wing of the group leader returning from a mission to Bucharest Romania when over Yugoslavia we were hit by intense & accurate Anti-aircraft fire, The Group leader went down in flames & my plane also suffered severe damage to #2, #3,Engines, losing both fuel & oil pressure on each of these engines. To maintain flying speed we had to alternate the use of these three engines along with #1 engine which was not hit. Also, our hydraulic system was damaged beyond repair. In any event we were able to maintain enough altitude to get across the Adriatic sea & were able to just get over the airfield fence after lowering the landing gear using emergency procedures & as we had no flaps, nor brakes, we had to deploy parachutes from the waist windows in order to stop just going off the far end of the field. All Four engines were damaged beyond repair. Number one engine was damaged from overheating & the other three engines were also damaged from malfunctioning low oil & fuel pressure but we by the grace of God, we were able to survive for more missions


Darryl Johnston, e-mail, 11.04.2010 15:27

My late uncle flew in Liberators with a squadron of the SAAF (South African Air Force) based in North Africa then Italy - if anybody can give me details of the squadron it would be appreciated. Oh, I remember him telling me they dropped supplies in Stalingad as well.


Michele Horton, e-mail, 27.03.2010 17:58

My Grandfather, Vernon M. Samuelson, was part of the 449th Bomb group, crew 7-12. He flew a B-24 that he named "Cincy's Margie". I wanted to see if there were anyone out there that remembers him and possibly has any pictures with him in it and his plane "Cincy's Margie". He passed away back in 2006. He had typed his memoirs down and my Mom gave me a copy. My son Logan (Vernon's Great-Grandson) is very interested in World War II and I wish that he was still around to talk to him. If you have any info for me, please email me. Thanks so much! Sincerely, Michele Horton


Gerry Cabot, e-mail, 23.03.2010 17:27

I was tail gunner and flew 27 missions on the B-24 with the 458th Bomb Group, 2nd Air Division, out of Horsham St. Faith near Norwich England. It was a great aircraft and always got us back to base even with battle damage. I had two skippers: Andy Anderson(New Jersey) and then Dave Minsker from Traverse City, Michigan. I am proud of my service.


Tony Bishop, e-mail, 11.03.2010 03:14

My uncle, Bill Bishop, was a mechanic with the 90th Bomb Group, the "Jolly Rogers" out of one of the Port Moresby airfields. He begged his B-24 pilot for a stowaway ride on a mission, finally got his wish. It was a night raid over Rabaul, which the pilot had hoped would not be a particullarly hazardous one.

A searchlight picked the plane up and the pilots dived to escape. My uncle, in the radio compartment, was scared out of his mind. The plane built up to over 350MPH IAS, as the pilots tried to evade. Bill said that he could hear the stresses on the wing roots, hear sheet metal creaking, rivets popping.

Upon landing, inspection showed extreme warping and rippling to the wing leading edges, twisted metal at the wing roots. The plane never flew again, became a parts source.

My uncle was chewed out royally, and busted back from Sgt. to Private. "Sargeant, you were doing no good for anybody, and in the way. Your opportuniy to fight the war is in the field of engine service, and there you'll stay." (My uncle had no desire to go on a raid again, in any case.)


anded, e-mail, 09.03.2010 00:51

thhkk


Sam Vecchio, e-mail, 29.01.2010 22:25

A great book I have read about these aircraft is "Log of the Liberators" It has history of almost everyone produced.


paul scott, e-mail, 20.08.2009 14:58

An amazing bomber - the most produced one of WW2 - an amazing testimony from Mr Arnson and all on here with its brief history - with regards to the latter, I have seen excellent documentaries on the attack on the Ploesti oilfields. One of my favourite aircraft!


ERLING L. ARNSON, e-mail, 02.11.2008 04:53

During WWII, I was in Italy in the 455th Bomb Group and a crew member on a B24, "Boomerang Betsy". Our mission on May 18, 1944, was the Ploesti Oil Fields, Romania. Approaching the target, we had the usual heavy flak on this our 3rd mission back to this target. The two outboard engines were disabled and the bombs let loose, and went right out thru the bomb bay doors. The doors ended up just swinging under the fuselage. The aircraft dropped altitude and fell on its left wing, losing 5000' feet elevation. The pilot and co-pilot were both fighting and wrestling the controls to get it to finally level-off.
With that, two ME-109s attacked us at 6 o'clock and fired their 20mm cannons, mainly hitting the tail gunner's safety glass, knocking him out of the turret. His face was covered with shattered glass.
After we were originally hit, we flew for 1 3/4 hours, pulling full power on engines #2&3, but kept losing altitude. At about 1200', the pilot directed us to BAIL OUT. My position was left waist window gunner; I dropped out of the camera hatch, and pulled my ripcord. Everyone was able to get out safely. We were told later that our aircraft landed intact on auto pilot.
I think that the B24 was a terrific plane; it flew higher, faster, and carried a heavier bomb load than the B17. Our Boomerang Betsy did not fail us even under such dire circumstances.


CASTLE22R, e-mail, 13.06.2008 16:22

I have studied ww2 aviation all my life,and the B-24 is my most favorate bomber of ww2 or any other to be honest.please excuse my spelling.


Paul Billingham, e-mail, 28.05.2008 01:02

Ihave my father's complete case of B-24 manuals, all of which are in mint condition. Does anyone know if the Air and Space Museum has any sort of display on the B-24 or how these books could be donated?


ed marroy, e-mail, 06.05.2008 04:21

Capt. steiners crew flew vgrand on her last combat mission...lost both inboard engines over vienna...made it back to vis...vgrand was going to be salvage...it wasdecided to be used in service squadron....we flew it back to states after compleding our missions


Ross Rainwater, e-mail, 26.04.2008 20:18

More B-24s were built than any other US aircraft in WWII, over 18,000. If memory serves, the only aircraft built in greater numbers in the entire war was the Soviet IL-2 Sturmovik, with over 36,000 built.


Bill Manby, e-mail, 06.04.2008 22:09

You missed lut on th final b24..It was the B-24N. The last six off the Ford production line were theB-24N.If they had been in Service prior, more wousld have come back!
It' outstanding characteristic is the single tail, The fuselage is oe streamlined with a ball turret leeding the way, But inside it was great! the centr console began at the top of the cockpit pane and slope downward to the floor, The windshield was a 2 piece installation foring a 'v' in the center (part of the streamlinng), The pilots and copilots chairs were ergometrically designed for comfort. The most distinctive thing were the flight controls! The pilots arm rest at the front had a control stick almost like those that came with early VCR aircraft game controls. The left arm of the copilots arrm rest was similarly configured. The were calledd 'formation sticks'. The controle the attitue of the aircraft in climbs, and turns. The pilots control had an 'override' button that would transfer control from the copilots control at thepilots discretionl It still retained the spring loaded- center -off bat handle switches for prop control. It had trbo by-pass feature in the turbbos Yo could firewall the throttles at each take off without overloading the engines'this was enabled by an altitude sensing device fot the sea level of the airfield being used..
Two conclusions It wss afaster, easier to fly airplane. Two. I believe it was the FIRST fly-by-wire airplane, well ahead of someof the modern jet aircraft. Also, with tthe single tail it lookeed like the 'breadboard' model of the later produced B-32. From a distace they looked exactly. I can't attach a photograph here but I willshow front, side,airborne views if I had an e-mail address. Oh yes. Of the these 6 units 3 went to the Air Corps an Chanuter field, and 3 went to the Navy.
Bill Manby wmanby@satx.rr.com, 210-824-1503


David Foster, e-mail, 04.01.2008 16:39

Dear Mr. Peek,

My late uncle, Paul Davis, returned home from the 448th with two photos of Lt. Mains B-24 going down; one being a 10"x8" very clear print from the original negative. This large print is scanned in with high resolution here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21734563@N04/sets/72157603453115241/detail/ If you have the time would you be able to view the photo and comment on the postion of the two sections of the B-24 in regards to the tail section being much closer to the photographer than the main fuselage/wing section? In the photo the tail section appears to be about 1/2 the span of the wings. Is the tail span roughly 1/4 of the wing span of a B-24?

Sincerely

David Foster


Joseph H. Peek, e-mail, 30.04.2007 08:55

This was another of the many U.S. Air Force aircraft that flew out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. It was the mainstay of the 303rd bomb wing based there during WWII when I was still in St. Peter and Paul Catholic elementary school. Quite a thrill to see and heara the old engines of that era very smoothly set in sync as the bird flew by our home. Later, I climbed into one of these birds and found out how really small they were. I would not have made it in those days I must say. I would have been too big in my adult frame. Cale me 404-325-4866




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