Consolidated B-24 "Liberator"

View of athe B-24 landing at Aurora airport in 2004.
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator landing at Aurora, Oregon in 2004 when it was painted in the colors of a 5th Air Force B-24 that flew in the South Pacific.

B-17 compared to the B-24 a quick comparison.

During June 2005 the Collings Foundation Consolidated B-24J Liberator, along with the B-17 "909" came to Oregon's Aurora Airport on tour as it does most every year.

Nose Art on the B-24J Witchcraft.B-24 nose art on "Witchcraft" The new paint on the aircraft is that of "Witchcraft."

Robert M. Stone Jr., 80, of Vincent, Ohio, died at his home Wednesday, March 16, 2005.
Born September 17, 1924, in Birmingham, Ala., to Robert Marion Stone Sr. and Margaret Liverman Stone.

At 16 he was taught to fly by air racer and aviation pioneer Roscoe Turner.

He flew 35 combat missions over Germany and France as part of the 467th Bomber Group, 790th Bomb Squadron as a navigator/bombardier including the historic 100th mission of "Witchcraft."

All along the starboard side of the aircraft are the names of the company sponsors and the individuals who helped in keeping this aircraft in flying shape. This is the only B-24 flying - out of more than 16,188 built!

The B-24 was built in larger numbers than the 12,531 more famous B-17 Flying Fortress. A hugh aircraft plant was built by Ford at Willow Run, along with a 4 lane highway so that the workers could get there, just to build the B-24s. Construction of the plant started in the spring of 1942 and even after lots of initial problems (not surprising, even got a Congressional Investigation) by 1945 35 planes a day were coming out of the factory.

The wings were initially made by another company and shipped to the factory, but were found not to mate correctly, so the plant ended up making the whole aircraft instead of mating sub-assemblies.

Consolidated B-24J Liberator named Witchcraft on the tarmac at Aurora airport in the early morning.
The Consolidated B-24-J "Liberator" seen in the early morning light at Aurora Airport in Oregon, June 2005 with the new paint scheme.
Photo by Tom Philo.

Same B-24 seen in 2002 over Hillsboro Airport when painted as "All American."
All these photos are of the twin tailed B -24.
This is how it looked in 1992 flying over
Hillsboro airport when it was painted up as the "All American."

I got up at 5 AM so I could get to the airport just after sunrise to take the 2005 series of pictures. They were again offering paying customers rides in the aircraft. However, due to my schedule, I was not around during the two times the B-24 went flying around Portland. I was there and took pictures and videos of the B-17 flying however.

Consolidated B-24J Liberator called All American taxiing at Hillsboro, Oregon in 2001. Consolidated B-24J Liberator "All American" This is the how the Consolidated B-24J "All American" looked when it visited Hillsboro in 2001. During this time it was painted up as "The Dragon and Its Tail."

YB-24 Privateer - aka a B-24 Liberator with a single tail - at Ft. Wainwright Alaska in 1978.
This is the YB-24 Privateer — the single tail version of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. The original design of the B-24 was for a single tail but aerodynamic problems forced them to build the initial B-24s with twin tails. Later they perfected the single tail design and the Navy ordered them. They were used as patrol bombers for anti-submarine and reconnoiter work.

This firefighting B-24 a/c was photographed at Ft. Wainwright Alaska in 1978. There were also B-25 Mitchells and C-119 Boxcars there that summer to fight fires.

You can go flying in the Collings Foundation B-17 or B-24. Another outfit that lets you fly in a B-17 is the Commerative Air Force (CAF) web site www.B17.Org has more details. Their aircraft's name is "Aluminum Overcast."

All photographs are available for purchase.
All text and photographs © 1976-2014 Tom Philo, 17502 SW Kimmel Ct, Beaverton, Or 97007-6877. Phone / Fax: 503-591-3227. See permitted uses of photos on the copyright and disclosure statement page.
No photograph can be used for commercial purposes without permission.
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