Often unfairly overshadowed by both the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and later B-29 Superfortress, the distinctive Consolidated B-24 Liberator was the third of America’s heavy bombers used during WWII and has the distinction of being the most heavily produced four-engined bomber in aviation history. Serving in every theatre of operation during the Second World War, the Liberator formed the backbone of the Allied daylight bombing offensive against Germany and with its shoulder mounted, highly efficient wing, deep fuselage and H-shaped tail unit, the Liberator’s impressive range also helped to close the ‘Atlantic gap’ in the vital sea battle against German U-boats, which threatened Britain’s critical supply lines.
Like so many other of the 18,500 B-24s produced during WWII, Liberator 42-52154 ‘Male Call’ was an extremely hard working machine, surviving the war having completed an impressive 95 bombing missions – she is thought to have been the only survivor of the original 61 aircraft assigned to the 453rd Bombardment Group, which arrived at RAF Old Buckenham airfield on 21st January 1944. The aircraft was one of the Liberators flown by celebrated Hollywood actor James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart during his time as Group Operations Officer with the 453rd Bombardment Group at the Norfolk airfield.
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