Consolidated B-24E Liberator

Last revised August 14, 1999






Under the terms of the Liberator Production Pool agreement, the designation B-24E was assigned to the version of the Liberator that was built by the Ford Motor Company as primary contractor at its Willow Run, Michigan plant. As part of its participation in the Liberator Production Pool, Ford also provided B-24E components for assembly at Consolidated/Fort Worth and at Douglas/Tulsa.

The first B-24Es began to come off the Willow Run assembly line in mid-1943. A total of 801 B-24Es were built. 490 of these were built at Willow Run, with 167 being assembled in Tulsa and 144 at Fort Worth

The Ford-built B-24Es were all powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65 engines. Externally, the B-24E was identical to the late production B-24D with the three-gun nose modification. However, the Ford-built B-24E did not carry the belly turret of the late B-24D. Instead, it had a single 0.50-inch machine gun in the tunnel position. Internally, the B-24D had numerous changes designed to make the Liberator more adaptable to mass production at Ford by engineers and workers originally trained for automobile production

Because of production delays encountered at Willow Run as a result of the inevitable difficulties and snags involved in the adaptation of automobile manufacturing techniques to aircraft, the B-24E was largely obsolescent by the time that it began to roll off the production lines, and most were relegated to training roles in the United States and few ever saw combat.

160 B-24Es were modified as gunnery trainers for B-29 crews and had a General Electric fire control system installed.

B-24E-15-FO 42-7127 was experimentally modified to have a unique system of barbettes on each side of the fuselage, controlled from adjacent observation blisters and each carrying two 0.50-inch machine guns. This innovation was not adopted as standard.

B-24E Serials:

41-28409/28416		Douglas-Tulsa B-24E-1-DT Liberator
41-28417/28444		Douglas-Tulsa B-24E-10-DT Liberator
41-28445/28476		Douglas-Tulsa B-24E-15-DT Liberator
41-28477/28500		Douglas-Tulsa B-24E-20-DT Liberator
41-28501/28573		Douglas-Tulsa B-24E-25-DT Liberator
41-29007/29008		Douglas-Tulsa B-24E-DT Liberator
41-29009/29023		Consolidated B-24E-10-CF Liberator
41-29024/29042		Consolidated B-24E-15-CF Liberator
41-29043/29061		Consolidated B-24E-20-CF Liberator
41-29062/29115		Consolidated B-24E-25-CF Liberator
42-6976/7005		Ford B-24E-1-FO Liberator
42-7006/7065		Ford B-24E-5-FO Liberator
42-7066/7122		Ford B-24E-10-FO Liberator
42-7123/7171		Ford B-24E-15-FO Liberator
42-7172/7229		Ford B-24E-20-FO Liberator
42-7230/7464		Ford B-24E-25-FO Liberator
42-7770			Ford B-24E-FO Liberator
42-64395/64431		Consolidated B-24E-25-CF Liberator

Sources:

  1. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1959.

  2. Liberator: America's Global Bomber, Alwyn T. Lloyd, Pictorial Histories Publishing Co, Inc, 1993.

  3. B-24 Liberator in Action, Larry Davis, Squadron/Signal Publications Inc, 1987.

  4. General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecesssors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  5. Consolidated B-24D-M Liberator IN USAAF-RAF-RAAF-MLD-IAF-CzechAF and CNAF Service, Ernest R. McDowell, Arco, 1970.

  6. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  7. American Combat Planes, 3rd Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  8. Jane's American Fighting Aircraft of the 20th Century, Michael J.H. Taylor, Mallard Press.