The B-24 Bomber 2 Several aircraft from the World War Two era have achieved iconic status. The F4U Corsair, TBM Avenger and the B-17 and B-29 Super fortresses are all legendary in their service for the Allied cause. There is another such aircraft that never achieved the fame of those mentioned but was critical to the Allies war effort none the less. The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was the work horse of the Allied fleet. Its entrance into the war came at a critical and vulnerable time for Allied survival in Europe. After proving its effectiveness in early missions the B-24 would go on to be used in all theatres of the conflict. It was the most numerous, most versatile and possibly the most effective Allied plane of World War Two.
The Design Stage
The B-24 bomber was designed as part of the strategic bombing plans drawn up by the Allies in the 1930s. Built by Consolidated Aircraft of Ypsilanti, Michigan, the bomber took its first flight in late December of 1939. Consolidated was a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company, an icon of American business. The Ford factory was able to produce more than four hundred B-24s per month. By 1941 the plane would enter wartime service.
High demand in 1942-43 prompted Consolidated to expand its production facilities. The San Diego plant was increased to three times its original size. A new plant was built in Fort Worth, Texas. The flagship plant was built in Willow Run, Michigan in 1942. At the time this plant was the largest industrial plant of any kind in the United States. In the process thousands of Americans were put to work. The vastness of the Willow Run Plant made for some interesting accommodations. At a certain point in the assembly line the planes would beThe B-24 Bomber 3 mechanically turned at a right...
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