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WW2 B-24 Liberator Bomber   Models, B-24 Models, Airplane Kits.

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Consolidated B-24 Guerra Mundial Libertador dos bombarderos de h?ice, modelos de aviones, B-24 kit modelo de pl?tico, los modelos de caoba, mueren los modelos de reparto y 2 ? Guerra Mundial B-24 Fotos del bombardero.

The B-24 Liberator was built in a factory called Willow Run in Detroit Michigan.  The factory was built by Henry Ford and designed by Charles E. Sorensen.  The Willow Run factory was named willow run because is it was built on the willow run creek.  This is interesting because the last person to live on the Willow Run property was Warren Benjamin Kidder.  I have spoken to Ben, personally, and he is one of the nicest people that anyone could ever meet.  Ben wrote a book called Willow Run, Colossus of Industry, a book about the production of the B-24 liberator military bomber.  When the factory was in full production it produced a B-24 liberator every 56 minutes.  This factory is one of Henry Ford 's greatest achievements.  You can read more about this fantastic, very well written book by ing here

This famous WWII bomber fought its way through the dangerous skies of Europe and the Pacific. The B-24 Liberator was one of the most versatile and important  aircraft of that era. It did not get the press attention that the Flying Fortress received, but it certainly earned its way by fighting through swarms of Luftwaffe fighters to drop bombs on the Third Reich. It earned the same laurels in the Pacific.

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Commissioned to replace the B-17, the Liberator was built in near-record time. The machine was designed around the long-span low-drag Davis wing, a new concept at the time of production. Early models were soon superseded on all production lines by the J model, the most successful B-24 of all time. When production ceased on 31 May 1945, 18,475 Liberators had been made, making it the most produced American aircraft of WW2.  Look at the Willow Run WW2 B-24 Liberator Bomber Exhibit Here  See the Mighty Eighth Air Force World War II Exhibit Here.    See the New Eight Air Force WW2 Movie Script Here.

B-24 Model Bomber Kit

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B-24 Liberator Plastic Model Kit


B-24 Balsa Wood Model

B-24 Liberator Bomber Everything

PB4Y-1 Navy Version of the B-24 Liberator

PB4Y-1 & PB4Y-2 Models

The Navy version of the B-24 Liberator, the PB4Y-1, served primarily in the Pacific. Made of Philippine mahogany, this scale model measures 13?" in length, has a wingspan of 20"The PB4Y-1 was a navalized version of the USAAF B-24. It had its origin in a deal cut in mid-1942 between the Navy and the USAAF. The Navy was anxious to acquire a long-range, land-based heavy maritime reconnaissance and patrol aircraft capable of carrying a substantial bombload, but the USAAF had always resisted what it perceived as an encroachment into its jealously-guarded land-based bomber program. However, the USAAF needed an aircraft plant to manufacture its next generation of heavy bombers, the B-29 Superfortress. It just so happened that the Navy owned a plant at Renton, Washington, which was at that time being operated by Boeing for the manufacture of the PBB-1 Sea Ranger twin-engined patrol flying boat.

PB4Y-2 Navy Version of the B-24 Liberator used to hunt submarines.

The Army proposed that the Navy cancel the Sea Ranger program and turn over the Renton factory to them for B-29 production. In exchange, the USAAF would get out of the antisubmarine warfare business and would drop its objections to the Navy's operation of land-based bombers. The Navy would get "navalized" B-24 Liberators, B-25 Mitchells, and B-34/B-37 Venturas for use in maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine warfare. The Navy readily agreed to this arrangement. The navalized Liberator was assigned the designation PB4Y-1. The initial PB4Y-1s were essentially B-24Ds delivered to the Navy with very little change and assigned Navy Bureau of Aeronautics serial numbers. They were drawn from a variety of B-24D block numbers. Later Navy Liberators were based on the B-24G, J, L, and M versions, with their factory-installed Consolidated A-6A/B or Emerson A-15 nose turrets, although some of them had ERCO turrets installed at the factory. However, they retained the same naval designation of PB4Y-1 as the initial planes based on the B-24D. All PB4Y-1s had Martin A-3 upper turrets and Consolidated A-6A/B tail turrets. In service, several B-24D-based PB4Y-1s were retrofitted with ERCO (Engineering and Research Company) ball turrets in their noses. This ball turret had originally been designed for the now-cancelled Boeing XPBB-1 Sea Ranger patrol bomber. The ERCO ball turret was essentially spherical whereas the earlier Consolidated or Emerson turrets were essentially cylindrical.

B-24J Liberator 1/72 Model
Silver Paint
Pre Built Mahogany Model
Made of Philippine mahogany, this 1/72 scale model measures 12" in length and has a  wingspan of 18½". Hand painted and detailed, model comes ready to display on the  included mahogany base.

B-24 Liberator Balsa Wood Kit
Balsa Wood Model Kit
"Jerk's Natural," a Ploesti survivor, is the subject of this incredible balsa wood display  kit. 1/28 scale construction results in a 48½" wingspan. that's more than four feet! Assembly required.

B-24J Liberator 1/72 Scale Model Plane
Pre Built Mahogany Display Model Plane
Silver Made of Philippine mahogany, this 1/72 scale model measures 12" in length and has a wingspan of 18?". Hand painted and detailed, model comes ready to display on the included mahogany base.

B-24J Liberator 1/72 Model
O.D./Grey Markings
Pre Built Mahogany Model
Made of Philippine mahogany, this 1/72 scale model measures 12" in length with a  wingspan of 18½". Hand painted and detailed, model comes ready to display on the  included mahogany base.

B-24J Liberator 1/72 Scale Model Kit
Plastic Model Airplane Kit

The Dragon and His Tail

Sporting authentically detailed markings, this 1/72 scale plastic kit of the B-24J, The Dragon and his Tail is a fine replica. The detailed kit features a realistic interior and armaments that can be displayed either open or closed. Assembled kit has an impressive 18" wingspan.

B-24D Liberator 1/72 Scale Kit
Plastic Model Airplane Kit
98th Bomb Group

The Squaw, a B-24D Liberator heavy bomber piloted by Capt. Royden Lebrect of the 98th Bomb Group - the "Pyramiders" - on the August 1, 1943, Ploesti low-level raid (Operation Tidal Wave), this newly tooled, 1/72 scale plastic kit features a detailed cockpit, ball turret and glazed nose; optional-position bomb bay doors and eight 1,000-lb. bombs; intricate landing gear; authentic USAAF markings; and more. 18?" wingspan; 207 parts, assembly required.

B-24D Liberator 1/72 Kit
Plastic Model Kit
This detailed plastic kit of the "Ploesti"- type B-24D features a glazed "greenhouse" nose, delicate recessed panel lines and good interior detail. Skill level 2.

B-24J Liberator 1/62 Scale Model
Pre Built Mahogany Display Model Airplane
Made of Philippine mahogany, this 1/62 scale model measures 12?" in length with a wingspan of 21?". Hand painted and detailed, model comes ready to display on the included mahogany base.

Flight Manual B-24 Liberator
A reprint of the official government handbook designed to show the new cadet how  to fly the aircraft. Heavily illustrated with dozens of photos, diagrams and charts. 146 pgs., 8½"x 11", sfbd.


B-24 Model Bomber Kit

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See the Willow Run B-24 Production Exhibit

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See the Jessie Pettey B-24 Combat Exhibit

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See the John Bybee B-24 History Research Exhibit.

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Dear Jerry,
Thank you for you letter and the "Lightweight Tower Calling" bulletin.
I'm glad that you feel fine now.
15th USAAF Park Plaque located in PolandI'd like to inform you about the event we are organizing in September this year. On 9/11 the park in Blechhammer will be given the name of 15th U.S.A.A.F. Airmen. We have invited the American air attach?in Poland, colonel Mary E. Peterson. We already have the plates with the name of the park (I'm sending you a photo). Me and my friends from the "Blechhammer - 44" group have applied for this to the local authorities.  We are also trying to raise money for a memorial plate with the names of 14 airmen killed in battle who are still buried in the Polish soil somewhere around Heydebreck, Odertal and Blechhammer. 10 of them were from 485 BG. We are not sure how this project will be financed and I think that we will ask the attach?for help. I will send you the list of
names of those airmen. Perhaps you could spread the word to their families? I noticed in your bulletin how much you care for keeping in touch with people and preserving the memory about history. Perhaps somebody would like to come and participate in the September celebration? I'm also sending some photos of a B24 model. It is the plane of Lt.  Arthur Lindell and it will be displayed in our museum; it was made by my friend Andrzej Cholewa. I wish you a blessed and joyful Easter and a spring full of new opportunities and warm days! I hope you will spend a great time with your family and friends.

15th Army Air Force B-24 Liberator Bomber

15th Army Air Force Uniform in Poland

Hi John, 

I thought your C-130 buddy who is going to Poland might be interested in this upcoming event in Poland.  I'm putting Waldemar's email below.  He was my tour guide when I was there, at no charge, and spent 2 days with me showing me 15th AF crash sites, the museum, the refineries, etc.  I'm sure he'd do the same for any good American.  The uniform in the attached photo is one I donated to their museum.  In his email he references Lt. Lindell's crew.  They went down on 12/26/44.


Information Thanks to John Bybee, B-24 Master Researcher.


B-24 Liberator WWII Study Information

Above the Ardennes on December 31, 1944, Oblt. Hans Dortenmann - Staffelkapitan of 12./JG 54, the Green Hearts - leads a formation of 30 Fw 190D fighters in an attack on 2nd Air Division B-24 Liberators.  

The Little Gramper, the first forming plane used by the 491st Bomb Group  

The Squaw, a Liberator of the 98th Bomb Group piloted by Royden L. Lebrect on the Ploesti Raids.  

Known as The Dragon and His Tail, this B-24 - which flew 85 missions with the 43rd Bomb Group at le Shima, a small island just west of Okinawa  

Spotted Ape - a brightly colored B-24 Liberator assembly ship which was used as a reference point to set up huge bomber formations - of the 458th Bomb Group based at RAF Horsham St. Faith  

The B-24 Liberator was built in greater quantities than any other U.S. bomber of World War 2. The prototype model was produced by the Consolidated Aircraft Corp. with the first XB-24 taking to the air on Dec. 29, 1939. It featured the revolutionary Davis wing design that enabled the B-24 to carry the same payload as its rival the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress but at a much greater speed and range. Over 18,000 Liberators were built during the war. Of all the European operations in which B-24s were involved, the initial raid on the Ploesti oil refinery in southern Rumania on Aug. 1, 1943 was by far the most dramatic because it was heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns as well as squadrons of German Luftwaffe and Royal Rumanian Air Force Fighters. Of the 164 B-24s engaged, 53 were shot down or lost enroute, 23 were forced down and only 88 returned to base. “Jerk’s Natural”, the subject of this kit, was a Ploesti bomb group survivor.

Queen Mae, a B-24J Liberator that operated with the 90th Bomb Group - the Jolly Rogers - in the Pacific Theater during World War II  

Known as The Dragon and His Tail, this B-24 - which flew 85 missions with the 43rd Bomb Group at le Shima in the Pacific - is widely recognized for its colorful crew insignia.  

The only flyable B-24 Liberator aircraft in the world, serial number 44-44052, is the aircraft owned and operated by the Collings Foundation, and named after The Dragon and His Tail, this lavishly decorated B-24 that flew in the Pacific during WWII. Restored in 1985, this Liberator required over 420,000 new rivets and more than 80% of the aircraft's parts were rebuilt or replaced.  

The Squaw, a B-24D Liberator heavy bomber piloted by Capt. Royden Lebrect of the 98th Bomb Group - the "Pyramiders" - on the August 1, 1943, Ploesti low-level raid (Operation Tidal Wave)   "Strawberry Bitch," 376th Bomb Group

  PB4Y-1 Liberator Flown on anti-submarine patrol missions, the U.S. Navy's version of the B-24 bomber   Easy Maid  the PB4Y-1 patrol bomber, which was a Naval adaptation of the famous Consolidated B-24J Liberator  

B-24H the 459th Bomb Group, which flew with the 15th Air Force out of Italy in 1944   "Jerk's Natural," a Ploesti survivor  

B-24D Liberator, a heavy bomber that was produced in greater numbers than any other American combat aircraft during World War II   Consolidated B-24J Liberator of the 376th Bombardment Group based in North Africa during World War II   the B-24J Liberator "Silver Chief", with markings of the 753rd BS/458th BG   Above the Ardennes on December 31, 1944, Oblt. Hans Dortenmann - Staffelkapitan of 12./JG 54, the Green Hearts - leads a formation of 30 Fw 190D fighters in an attack on 2nd Air Division B-24 Liberators   B-24s from the 23rd Bomb Group, escorted by P-51s from the 356th Fighter Group (led by Jersey Jerk, fly among the columns of Thor (the Norse god of thunder and war) as they return from their targets in Germany   Protecting B-24 Liberators returning from a bomb run, an F4U Corsair from VF-17, the "Jolly Rogers," races past a Japanese Zero - whose pilot is bailing out - it just shot out of the sky over the South Pacific   B-24Ds of the American pioneer 93rd Bomb Group climb through 21,000 feet into the light of the early morning sun. On this day, March 18, 1943, the B-24Ds, joined by B-17s and other bombers, crossed the East Coast of England en route to their target, the submarine base at Vegesack, Germany. This first mission to Germany for the 93rd Bomb Group proved that daylight bombing could be carried out successfully in the face of German defenses.   a photograph taken during the August 1, 1943, low-level raid on Germany's oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania, is signed by Col. Walter Stewart who, as deputy lead of the 93rd Bomb Group on this mission and pilot of the only first-wave B-24 to survive the attack, received the Distinguished Service Cross.   The Vulgar Virgin, a B-24 Liberator of the 344th Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group (H), makes its fatal run over target "White IV," Ploesti, before being lost to flak and enemy fighters.   Safely back at their base in Salbani, India, the crew of this 355 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Liberator tells of their just-completed harrowing mission.   On August 1, 1943, 178 Liberators made a famous low-level bombing raid on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Rumania. This scene shows John R. "Killer" Kane's B-24 named Hail Columbia and another Pyramidier B-24, The Squaw, making their attack through the thick smoke over the target   B-24J from the 389th Bomb Group, which was based at Hethel, England during World War II, can now be enjoyed by all at the Fantasy of Flight Museum in Polk City, Florida   The magnificent Liberator flies with the Collings Foundation. Beautifully photographed by Patrick Bunce,   B-24D Liberators of the 93rd Bomb Group, this print showcases Joisey Bounce, a Liberator that flew with the 330th Bomb Squadron and survived the low-level raids on Ploesti, Romania. Accompanying her are Thundermug and Boomerang, both of the 328th.   1st Lt. Carl H. Fritsche brings his B-24 Liberator, The Crusader, into a valley in the Himalayas. Unable to fly above this high mountain range with the limited service ceiling of a fully loaded B-24, Fritsche relied on his navigator's skill to successfully guide his aircraft on 48 missions carrying fuel "over the Hump" into China from India in 1944.   Barely clearing the smokestacks of the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, this B-24 Liberator, "Sandman," was one of more than 100 that participated in Operation Tidal Wave - the low-level raid of August 1, 1943.   A PB4Y-2 Privateer - a reconfigured B-24 Liberator with a lengthened fuselage, greater defensive armament, modified engine cowlings and a distinctive, single vertical tail - of VPB-106 flies over the Pacific Fleet near its island base in the Philippines in the spring of 1945   B-24s of the 44th and 98th Bomb Groups exit the target at extreme low level after turning the oil refineries at Ploesti into a fiery maelstrom.   On November 2, 1944, B-24s of the 489th BG were sent to destroy the railroad marshalling yards at Bielefeld, Germany. The bomber formation was surprised to encounter the new German jet fighters, the Messerschmitt Me-262, in one of the earliest jet attacks against U.S. heavy bombers. The jets were chased off by P-47s that were escorting the bombers and there were no losses.   The exhausted crew of the B-24 Utah Man has returned to base near Benghazi, Libya on August 1, 1943 after bombing the great oil refineries at Ploesti. Base personnel welcome back the crew as pilot 1st Lt. Walter T. Stewart describes the mission to operations officer Maj. Ramsay D. Potts.   Closing at high speed with all cannons blazing, the distinctive Fw 190A-8 "Black 8" flown by Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz dives in to attack a formation of USAAF B-24s from the 93rd Bomb Group over Germany.   Badly damaged by flak, Hell's Wench - a B-24 Liberator flown by Lt. Col. Addison Baker, commander of the 93rd Bomb Group - continues toward its target during the daring low-level attack on the Ploesti oil refineries on August 1, 1943. Hell's Wench crashed shortly after releasing its bomb load, killing all of its crew.   Above the Ardennes on December 31, 1944, Oblt. Hans Dortenmann - Staffelkapitan of 12./JG 54, the Green Hearts - leads a formation of 30 Fw 190D fighters in an attack on 2nd Air Division B-24 Liberators.   The jet-powered Me 262 fighter was fast and could easily outrun Allied fighters. Unfortunately from the German perspective, it arrived on the scene too late and in too few numbers to impact the outcome of the war. Here we see it attacking a late-model B-24 in 1945.      

There was a problem called the lift gap problem which talked about the rotation of the heavy wheels, just after take off and putting the gear up, causing a gyro torque that pushed the nose of the aircraft down, which may have caused many of the aircrafts takeoff crashes.

The lift-gap phenomena has been explained in terms I can understand.  It makes sense.  If the Russians had no manuals or flight training, a B-24 could be a very wild ride. 

    Some B-17 crew members have related their experience in learning to fly or fly aboard a B-24.  They were highly uncomplimentary.  I think it was in some measure inexperience however.  We have knowledge and trust in what we learn.  To learn a parallel way of doing the same thing is always frustrating because the terminology is different and it works differently.  The new way is not wrong, just terribly foreign and initially confusing.  (Think of learning a new computer program or process.)

    However, one generous B-17 pilot, and a B-24 pilot both said the B-24 was a handful.  It was an entirely different aircraft yet it had a special set of unusual problems.  Too many short-cuts in design and construction and unfortunately the short-cuts were so basic that they could not be changed short of scrapping the whole concept of the B-24.  Ever notice that B-17's flew long after WWII in great variety of service?  Ever see a B-24 after the war flying the same missions?

    I'll bet a Russian take-off in a B-24 was a wild ride, with a Russian cowboy at the controls.  I hope they were wearing clean diapers!  John Bybee. 

Hi, John,
    I received your emails re the phenomenon of "Liftgap".  I have not heard of the term and it is intriguing.  I interpret it as, possibly, "a slight interruption of lift on lift-off".
    I can speculate that it may be caused by the rather unique landing gear configuration of the B-24 by which the attach point of the gear strut is hinged to the a/c with the hinge axis oriented fore and aft.  When the gear is raised, the wheel is not elevated directly upward as on the B-17 or C-47, but rather it is swung through an arc (think of a bird flapping its wings) toward the wing tips.  Or, think of it this way: when the gear is down, the plane of the wheel is vertical to the ground; when the gear is stowed in the wing, the plane of the wheel is horizontal.
   At this point, it may appear that I am digressing, but please bear with me.  Do you know the first action the pilot takes after lift-off of a B-24?  Answer - - - he puts on the brakes.  Why?
  When the -24 leaves the ground both of the heavy wheels/tires, which are designed to support the -24's 30-ton gross weight, are rotating at high speed.  In effect, they act as gyroscopes and behave in the same manner as when a force is applied to a spinning gyroscope.  When the gear is raised, the plane of the wheel is forced through an arc which subjects it to the phenomenon known as "precession".  
Suggestion- - - Google:   hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/gyr.html    - - - ( I am a Business major, so please don't ask me to discuss this site).
   As I remember, the landing gear is attached to each of the -24's two wing spars.  My theory:  as the heavy rotating wheels are moved through an arc to their stowed position in the wing, there is a great torsional force on the landing gear strut that may cause the spars, and therefore the front portion of the wing, to slightly bend the flexible Davis wing downward.  The result would be a slight loss of lift (Liftgap?) until the landing gear is stowed in the wing.  We remedied this condition by touching the brakes immediately after take-off.  Some pilots, apparently intent on establishing climb airspeed, ignored the rotating wheels that eventually retracted into the wing where the tires contacted heavy "snubbers" that stopped the rotation.  Note:  Several fighter aircraft have landing gears similar to the -24, but I know little about their attachment to the wing structure.  Although their gear swings through an arc toward the fuselage rather than toward the wing tips, precession is still evident.
    A second thought:  "Liftgap" might have been experienced by the loss of "Ground Effect".  When an aircraft is close to the ground, air between the ground and the undersurface of the wing is slight compressed.  On lift-off the ground effect is lost as the aircraft gains altitude.  Think of geese in V-formation with each bird utilizing the air pushed downward by the bird in front.  Or, sea birds who glide for long periods very close to the water.  In both cases, the birds are conserving energy by utilizing ground effect which "buoys" them (no pun).
    Because the B-24 was such a "ground-hugger" when grossed out, our pilots did not attempt an immediate climb-out after lift-off.  They typically gained 25-50' of altitude and leveled off so that their air speed could build up to climb speed because they wanted to quickly gain effective directional (rudder) control in the event of engine(s) failure.  The Russian "Liftgap" may have been experienced if they initiated a climb immediately after lift-off and they felt that loss of ground effect on lift-off.
    All of the above speculation is based on my -24 experience (as I remember it !) and should be reviewed/evaluated by more competent technical and maintenance personnel as well as historians and others..
    Because I don't know your background and knowledge of aviation, John, I may have addressed this subject in too much, or too little, detail.  Sorry, in either case, but I hope it helps a bit.  Jim. 


B-24 Exhibits on this Site

Willow Run The History of the Development of the B-24 Liberator Bomber

The exciting story of  building the B-24 Liberator
Warren Benjamin Kidder (Ben) was the last man to live on the Willow Run property before his house was torn down for the factory construction.  He has done a tremendous amount of research on building the Willow Run Plant and the B-24 Liberator.  The book is one of the best that I have ever read and you can see a large exhibit here with lots of great photos of the B-24 Liberator under construction plant in World War 2.  Exhibit Added Feb 2000
11 New Pages and a Major Exhibit Upgrade July 2007

By Warren Benjamin Kidder.
  Click Here to see the Script
 Release for "
Willow Run The Eighth Air Force WW2 Movie"

willow run, a colossus of american industry

One More Mission

A Journey from Childhood to War
A tremendous story about Jesse Pettey a B-24 Liberator Pilot in World War 2 which takes you from his childhood to becoming an Army Air Force Captain in World War 2. 

By Jesse Pettey.

Jesse Petty, B-24 Liberator Pilot in WW2 who flew into Ploesti

 WW2 B-24 Liberator Units Book

The Might Eithth Air Force in Action in World War II

The Mighty Eighth Air Force World War II

The latest book by Warren Benjamin Kidder.

This book starts out with action then talks about Charles Sorenson's building of the B-24 Liberator Factory at Willow Run.  Next it goes into America's entry into World War II and shows the daring raids of Jimmy Doolittle and quickly moves into the intense action of the B-24 Liberators raiding the oil refineries in Ploesti Romania. 

The last part of this book is a complete listing of almost one thousand raids of the 8th Air Force in WW2.

This is a color edition, hardcover edition, hand signed by the author, Warren Benjamin Kidder.

This book is action packed from beginning to end and is a non fiction account of what it really took to win the war both here in the United States and on the battle ground.  You need to read this book.

Click Here's Warren Benjamin Kidders New Book, The Mighty Eighth Air Force

   Click Here's the Movie Script for Willow Run

Willow Run, The History of the Development of the B-24 Liberator Bomber Exhibit  

  Click Here to see the Script Release for  
  "Willow Run The Eighth Air Force WW2 Movie"


Click Here's some letters from our readers:
Click Here to see more letters from other military members and their families
Hi Jeff-Just now whittled out some time to mail you with a little info ( for now ) gained from our Getty Family Reunion last weekend. I wrote you just before we left for Lake Pleasant, NY. I'll fill you in more later, but wanted to send two pix you and Mr. DeVillers might find interesting. Both in one .jpeg, 1st on top is my uncle, Capt. C.R. (Charles Robert) Getty on the right and Bombadier (Ernest Robert DeVillers) on the left. Bottom photo is, of course the G.K.II and GROUND CREW. C.R. is working on remembering their names. That's all for now, hope it adds to your quest. Brian Gough

Bombadier Mr. DeVillers and Captain Charles Robert GettyB-24 Liberator Galloping Katie II
on Photos for Much Closer View

The Jesse Pettey B-24 Pilot ExhibitAt that moment I forgot about the fighter escort and adjusted my comforting flak helmet and vest.  The top turret guns began to chatter as the flight engineer fired at an approaching enemy BF-109.  An instant later he was joined by the rattle of the right waist guns.  We were engaged in the bomb run and unable to maneuver our airplane to evade the fighters:  we could only fly in a stable flight path in the direction of the target so that the bomb load could, at the correct moment, direction, altitude and speed, be released.  We were sitting targets for both anti-aircraft guns and enemy fighters.  The next moment I witnessed and event that made me ill.  A German FW-190 suddenly appeared from below the nose of our aircraft and with in a few seconds, released two rockets into a B-24 ahead of us. He then rolled upside down and disappeared in a dive underneath our airplane.  It occurred so suddenly, our gunners had insufficient time to react or to fire.   I could distinguish the German pilot as he rolled over because he appeared only a few yards ahead of the nose of our airplane.   I could distinguish the German pilot as he rolled over because he appeared only a few yards ahead of the nose of our airplane.  Instantly, the B-24 ahead exploded into a fireball and began a downward spiral.  Only a few parachutes opened underneath the revolving inferno but even more terrifying, some of the parachutes and clothing of the airmen were on fire.    Read the whole story here
9-5-01Jeff,   My Dad was one of the first " Bombagators " in  the Army Air Corps in WWII . He received the distinguished Flying cross  for leading a mission   over Germany during the war in a B-24 Liberator  Bomber . The name of the   plane was Galloping Katie two . Dad was Ernest  Robert DeVillers . The pilot   was J. Paul Getty . If you can set me up in any  search areas , it would be greatly appreciated. Dad wrote a mission letter for  every mission he flew   but destroyed them just a few years ago . I have two that weren't in his  possession along with his graduation book from San Angelo Army Air Field in San Angelo, Texas. If any of what I have can be of  use to you or others interested in this history ,
 Thanks Jeff 
 Frank DeVillers 

This is Very Important.  I need your help.
From the Webmaster.  If anyone knows about Ernest Robert Devillers, or anything about J. Paul Getty being a WW2 Pilot,   Please here to send me a message.

Dear Sir:  I was the Co-Pilot on the "Gremlin".  We were the only crew to fly #427512.  On 5 January 1944 we were shot down by three  German fighters  over Friedrichskoog, Germany.  I bailed out just a few seconds before the Gremlin blew up and 6 crewmen were KIA.  A 15 year old German viewed this event and saw a piece of the Gremlin fall  through their barn roof and kill a horse.  This German saw a  recent posting about our plane  and wrote to me that he had plowed up a piece of the Gremlin.  He  sent this piece to me.  It looks to be a part of the engine and bears identification :  #9901 AND #108F23.  I would like to have this part identified.  I have a picture that I could send by attachment.  I am also interested to know if any quality control studies were made  to compare the quality of the B-24's made at the various manufacturing plants.  The Gremlin  had problems  with the superchargers  from the very first day we were assigned as its crew.  In fact we were alone on the day we were shot down as a result of being unable to keep up with the formation because the superchargers refused to operate as needed at high altitude.  I am interest to know if any comparative studies were made  relative to such problems between the various manufacturing plants.  Also I would like to have a copy of any manufacturing data that may exist for  #427512. 
Thank  you for any assistance you may provide.  William T. (Bill) bminor@truman.edu

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12-7-2008  11-28-2011