Consolidated B-24 Liberator at Grayson County Airport (formerly Perrin Airforce base) captured with my Canon Rebel T3i 600D
Corel Paintshop Pro x4
Often compared with the better-known Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 was a more modern design with a higher top speed, greater range, and a heavier bomb load; however, it was also more difficult to fly, with heavy control forces and poor formation-flying characteristics. Popular opinion among aircrews and general staffs tended to favor the B-17’s rugged qualities above all other considerations in the European Theater.3 The placement of the B-24’s fuel tanks throughout the upper fuselage and its lightweight construction, designed to increase range and optimize assembly line production, made the aircraft vulnerable to battle damage.4 The B-24 was notorious among American aircrews for its tendency to catch fire. Moreover, its high fuselage-mounted “Davis wing” also meant it was dangerous to ditch or belly land, since the fuselage tended to break apart.5 Nevertheless, the B-24 provided excellent service in a variety of roles thanks to its large payload and long range, and was the only bomber to operationally deploy the United States’ first forerunner to precision-guided munitions during the war, the 1,000 lb. Azon guided bomb.