Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 3: Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Data current to 27 Dec 2020.

 (DND Photo)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. V, RAF (Serial No. BZ735), RCAF (Serial No. 595), coded X, No. 10 (BR) Sqn, ca 1944.

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber flown by the RCAF during the Second Word War.  It was designed with a shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing which gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load.  Early RAF Liberators were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a matter of routine.  In comparison with its contemporaries the B-24 was relatively difficult to fly and had poor low speed performance; it also had a lower ceiling compared with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.  Of the roughly 18,500 B-24s built in the USA during the war, 148 were flown by the RCAF on long range anti-submarine patrols, with the B-24 serving an instrumental role in closing the Mid-Atlantic gap in the Battle of the Atlantic.  The RCAF also flew a few B-24s post war as transports.

Roughly half of all (RAF) Liberator crews in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theatre were Canadian by the end of the war.  John Muir of Vancouver flew the longest mission of the war: 24hrs, 10mins from Ceylon to Burma and back.  (Kyle Hood)

RCAF Variants:

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. III (B-24D) with single .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine gun in the nose, two in each waist position, and four in a Boulton Paul tail turret, similar to that on contemporary British heavy bombers such as the Handley Page Halifax, as well as other British equipment. The Martin dorsal turret was retained.  (15), (Serial Nos. 586, 587, 588, 589, 590, 591, 592, 593, 594, 595, 596, 597, 598, 599, 600, 

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. V (B-24D) variant modified for extra fuel capacity at the cost or armour, with the same armament fit as the Liberator Mk III.  (7) (Serial Nos. 3701, 3702, 3703, 3704, 3705, 3706, 3707).

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. VI (B-24H) fitted with Boulton Paul tail turrets, but retaining the rest of their armament.  (36), (Serial Nos. KG880, KG886, KG888, KG891, KG892, KG894, KG920, KG922-KG924, KG929-KG931, KG978, KH105-KH110, KH171-KH176, KH285-KH288, KK237-KK242).

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk VI (B-24H) used as a long-range general reconnaissance aircraft.  (64), (Serial Nos. 3708-3742, 11101, 11102, 11103, 11104,11105, EW127, EW128, |EW129, EW130, EW131, EW132, EW133, EW134, EW135, EW136, EW137, EW208, EW209, EW210, EW211, EW212, EW213, EW214, EW216, EW217, EW218, EW270, EW281, EW282).  

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, Mk. VIT (B-24H/C-87), converted to transport aircraft.  (10), (Serial Nos. 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576, 577, 578, 579).

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII (B-24M) modified for the anti-submarine role.  (16), (Serial Nos. 11120, 11121, 11122, 11123, 11124, 11125, 11126, 11127, 11128, 11129, 11130, 11131, 11132, 11133, 11134, 11135), for a total of 148 aircraft in service with the RCAF.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203452)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. I, carrying Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King and party en route to England, 19 Aug 1941, Gander, Newfoundland.  This aircraft was an American YB-24/LB-30A, purchased for the RAF and rebuilt as the C Mk. 1.  Nine were used by BOAC to initiate a Great Britain to Canada ferry service to bring and return RAF aircrew to Canada for ferrying Lend-Lease aircraft to Britain.

The first Liberators in British service were ex-USAAF YB-24s converted to Liberator GR Mk. Is (USAAF LB-30A).  The aircraft were all modified for logistic use in Montreal.  Changes included the removal of all armament, provision for passenger seating, a revised cabin oxygen and heating system.  Ferry Command's Atlantic Return Ferry Service flew civilian ferry pilots, who had delivered aircraft to the UK, back to North America.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607734)

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. VI, RCAF, Dorval.

 (DND Photo)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. V, RAF (Serial No. BZ735), RCAF (Serial No. 595), coded X, No. 10 (BR) Squadron, ca 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643016)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. 598), No. 10 (BR) Squadron, Gander, Newfoundland, 29 Jul 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3523319)

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. KG923), coded AM, No. 5 Operational Training Unit (OTU), 23 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583453)

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. KG923).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583456)

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. KG923), coded AM, rear view 23 Aug 1944, No. 5 OTU.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643728)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 923), waist .50 cal gun position, No. 5 OTU, 23 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643729)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF  (Serial No. 923), dorsal turret, 17 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643729)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 923), nose guns, 17 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643731)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 923), ball gunners turret, 17 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583434)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 923), interior view of the ball turret, 17 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650476)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF No. 11 (BR) Squadron, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, ca 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583585)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIT, RCAF (Serial No. 570), cockpit, No. 168 Squadron, 14 Nov 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583431)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 923), armanent installation, No. 5 OTU, 17 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583435)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 923), rear gun turret, No. 5 OTU, 17 Aug 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4564724)

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. III (Serial No. BZ899), RCAF No. 159 (B) Squadron, with a four-gun Boulton-Paul tail gun turret. S/L Hugo Beall and F/O Gordon Doherty, 4 May 1944.  The squadron was based at RAF Station Digri, Bengal, British India on the date the photo was taken.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4564729)

Consolidated Liberator B Mk. III (Serial No. BZ899), RCAF No. 159 (B) Squadron, with a four-gun Boulton-Paul tail gun turret.  F/O Pete Evans and F/Lt Sgt Stephens, 4 May 1944.

(IWM Photo CH 11320)

Boulton-Paul four-gun tail gunner's turret on a Handley-Page Halifax bomber.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650460)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. V, Gander, Newfoundland, 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643721)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, ca 1944-45.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 11382)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, ca 1944-45.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL21808)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF, maintenance crew.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643737)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 570), (Mk. VIT), No. 168 (HT) Squadron, based at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 14 Nov 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643738)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF, (Mk. VIT), No. 168 (HT) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, ca 1944-45.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643739)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 579), (Mk. VIT), No. 168 (HT) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, ca 1944-45.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650487)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 574), (Mk. VIT), No. 168 (HT) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, ca 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584150)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 574), (Mk. VIT), No. 168 (HT) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 2 July 1948.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643734)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 576), (Mk. VIT), No. 168 (HT) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, mail being loaded, 15 Jan 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650479)

Consolidated Liberator Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. 3704), converted to C Mk. VI (Mk. VIT) transport configuration and christened "Basterpiece", No. 11 (BR) Squadron, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, ca Jan 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583779)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 572), off the runway.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583778)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 572), off the runway.

 (RCAF Photo)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 574), 168 (HT) Squadron, ex-USAAF B-24L (Serial No. 44-10583), modified as an executive transport and nicknamed the “Silver Saloon” used to fly Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King, with No. 168 (HT) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario.

 (RCAF Photo)

Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 574), 168 (HT) Squadron, ex-USAAF B-24L (Serial No. 44-10583), modified as an executive transport and nicknamed the “Silver Saloon” used to fly Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King, with No. 168 (HT) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643724)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. V. nosewheel collapse, RCAF Station, Rockcliffe, Ontario, 29 March 1943.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4920964)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 3727), coded T, No. 11 (BR) Squadron, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, 19 Feb 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650477)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 3717), No. 11 (BR) Squadron, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia ,ca 1944-1945.

 (RCAF Photo)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 3714).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650491)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 3742), coded A, No. 10 (BR) Squadron, ca. 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 353352/3650477)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, (Serial No. 3721), coded T, No. 11 (BR) Squadron, RCAF, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, 19 Feb 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650480)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 3720), coded Q, No. 11 (BR) Squadron, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, ca. 1944-45.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650481)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 3757), No. 11 (BR) Sqn, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, ca 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 11507)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, Douglas C-47 Dakota, Consolidated Canso A, and "Tiger Force" Avro Lancasters on the ramp at Scoudouc, New Brunswick.  The long range Liberators were being laid up for disposal after the U-Boats surrendered in 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 11507).  Note, different photo, duplicate MIKAN No.

Consolidated Liberator memorial service, RCAF Station Patricia Bay, British Columbia, 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650493)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VI, coded H, formerly of No. 11 (BR) Squadron, RCAF, Patricia Bay, BC, 1945.

(DND Photos via James Craik)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130), ex-USAAF Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator, USAAF (44-50154), ex-RAF (Serial No. 5009), ex-Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE773).  Currently preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (RCAF Photo)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130), ex-USAAF Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator, USAAF (44-50154), ex-RAF (Serial No. 5009), ex-Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE773).  Currently preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130), ex-USAAF Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator, USAAF (44-50154), ex-RAF (Serial No. 5009), ex-Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE773).  Currently preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130), ex-USAAF Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator, USAAF (44-50154), ex-RAF (Serial No. 5009), ex-Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE773).  Currently preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130), ex-USAAF Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator, USAAF (44-50154), ex-RAF (Serial No. 5009), ex-Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE773).  Currently preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.