Consolidated B-24 Liberator
The B-24 was employed in operations in every combat theater during World War II. Because of its great range, it was particularly suited for such missions as the famous raid from North Africa against the oil industry at Ploesti, Rumania on August 1, 1943. This feature also made the airplane suitable for long over-water missions in the Pacific Theater. More than 18,000 Liberators were produced.
The B-24 Liberator, or as it was sometimes called, Banana Boat, utilized some of the latest technology in aviation. Unfortunately some of this technology was not with out cost. The efficient Davis wing design gave the B-24 exceptional range and load while sacrificing stability.
Note the name of the B-24D, “Strawberry Bitch”, next to the art of a tumbling woman clad in a swim suit. The crew wavered between respect and hatred for the plane. Strawberry is based on the aircraft’s unusual camouflage, a desert pink color.
NOTE: The B-24D pictured above flew combat missions from North Africa in 1943-44 with the 512th Bomb Squadron. It was flown to the U.S. Air Force Museum in May 1959. It is the same type airplane as the Lady Be Good of the 376 Bomb Group, the world-famous B-24D which disappeared on a mission from North Africa in April 1943 and which was found in the Libyan Desert in 1958.
Ford's Willow Run B-24 Plant
B-24Js move along Ford's Willow Run assembly line.
Charles E. Sorensen, Ford's Director of Production during WWII, conceived the idea and plan of manufacturing B-24 bombers at the astonishing rate of one an hour. Production materials and vendor products rolled in at one end and completed bombers rolled out at the other end.
The factory eventually produced 25 bombers daily.