he Collings Foundation's B-24J Liberator "Witchcraft" at the 2010 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.

he Collings Foundation’s B-24J Liberator “Witchcraft” at the 2010 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.

By Aviation Enthusiasts LLC

Seventy-four years ago today, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator took flight for the first time.  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.

Based on available information there are still exhibiting 16 complete airframes. Two are in airworthy condition,40-2366 Diamond Lil (formerly Ol’ 927) operated by Commemorative Air Force (B-24/B-29 Squadron) and 44-44052 Witchcraft -owned by the Collings Foundation.12 airframes are exhibit in museums around the world or under restoration or in storage.

3 Comments

  1. I had the privilege of serving as SIC on “Witchcraft” with the Collings Foundation during the 2007 tour. What a great airplane to fly!!!

  2. Diamond Lil was supposed to be 40-2366 on the production line. As the British purchased the airplane, they put AM927 on the aircraft and she was referred as Ol’ 927 during the war. 40-2366 was applied to a B-24D and that airplane was scrapped after WWII.

  3. I was a gunner on B24J crew of Mitch Salares flying out of ChengKung. Perhaps now only survivor.
    So good to have your spread on it. gpc

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