Consolidated F-7

Last revised August 17, 1999

The F-7 was a photographic reconnaissance version of the Liberator, obtained by converting existing B-24 airframes at Army modification centers.

The first XF-7 was obtained in January of 1943 by converting B-24D 41-11653 by removing all the bombing equipment and installing eleven reconnaissance cameras in the nose, bomb bay, and aft fuselage. All the defensive armament was retained. This conversion was carried out at Lowry AB in Colorado. Four additional Consolidated/San Diego-built B-24Ds were converted to reconnaissance configuration under the designation F-7 at the Northwest Airlines Modification Center in St.Paul, Minnesota.

Most of the reconnaissance conversions were of nose-turreted B-24J, L and M Liberators. The first of these conversions were designated F-7A. The F-7A had a trimetrogon camera located in the nose, and a pair of vertical cameras installed in the aft bomb bay. The full defensive armament suite of the bomber was retained, and the F-7A conversions could externally be distinguished from stock bomber Liberators only by the presence of the additional camera windows cut into the rear bomb bay and into the lower nose. Generally, extra fuel tanks were installed in the forward bomb bay for additional range. The aft bomb bay was sealed shut and a crew compartment was installed for the photo technicians operating the cameras. Heaters were installed to keep the temperature of the compartment constant, more for the film than for the comfort of the crews.

Later reconnaissance conversions were designated F-7B. The F-7B differed from the F-7A in carrying all five cameras in the aft bomb bay, with the nose camera installation being deleted. The reason for this shift was that the navigator tended to bump up against the nose cameras, knocking them out of adjustment. Most F-7Bs were conversions of late-model B-24Ms, although a few B-24Js and Ls became F-7Bs as well.

The F-7s were assigned to the following groups: 1st Photographic Group, 4th Photographic Group, 5th Photographic Group, 6th Photographic Group, 11th Photographic Group, and the 311th Reconnaissance Wing,

Serials of F-7, F-7A, and F-7B conversions:

42-40433/40482		Consolidated B-24D-60-CO Liberator
				40433 converted to F-7
				40476 converted to F-7
42-40483/40527		Consolidated B-24D-65-CO Liberator
				40488 converted to F-7
				40494 converted to F-7
42-64047/64141		Consolidated B-24J-1-CF Liberator
				64047/64056 converted to F-7A
				64102/64106 converted to F-7A
42-64142/64236		Consolidated B-24J-5-CF Liberator
				64158 converted to F-7A
				64165 converted to F-7A
				64167/64174 converted to F-7A
				64175 converted to F-7A - later converted
					to CB-24J
				64176/64181 converted to F-7A
				64184/64186 converted to F-7A
				64188/64194 converted to F-7A
				64197 converted to F-7A
				64199/64201 converted to F-7A
				64203 converted to F-7A
				64235/64236 converted to F-7A
42-64237/64328		Consolidated B-24J-10-CF Liberator
				64237/64238 converted to F-7A
				64239 converted to F-7B
				64240/64242 converted to F-7A
				64243 converted to F-7B
				64245 converted to F-7A
				64247 converted to F-7B
				64247/64248 converted to F-7A
				64249/64250 converted to F-7B
				64251 converted to F-7A
				64253/64254 converted to F-7A
				64255/64256 converted to F-7B
				64260 converted to F-7B
				64262 converted to F-7B
				64323 converted to F-7A
42-64330/64346		Consolidated B-24J-15-CF Liberator
				64331 converted to F-7A
				64337 converted to F-7A
42-64347/64394		Consolidated B-24J-20-CF Liberator
				64369 converted to F-7A
				64371 converted to F-7A
42-73015/73064		Consolidated B-24J-5-CO Liberator
				73020 converted to F-7A
				73028 converted to F-7A
				73031 converted to F-7A
				73033/73035 converted to F-7A
				73038/73045 converted to F-7A
				73047/73050 converted to F-7A
				73052/73053 converted to F-7A
42-73115/73164		Consolidated B-24J-15-CO Liberator
				73131 converted to F-7A
				73157 converted to F-7A
44-40049/40148		Consolidated B-24J-145-CO Liberator
				40147 converted to F-7B
44-40149/40248		Consolidated B-24J-150-CO Liberator
				40160 converted to F-7B
				40197/40199 converted to F-7B
				40209 converted to F-7B
44-40349/40448		Consolidated B-24J-160-CO Liberator
				40356 converted to F-7B
				40376 converted to F-7B
				40412/40413 converted to F-7B
				40415/40417 converted to F-7B
				40419 converted to F-7B
				40422/40423 converted to F-7B
44-40549/40648		Consolidated B-24J-170-CO Liberator
				40602 converted to F-7B
				40612 converted to F-7B
				40616 converted to F-7B
				40622 converted to F-7B
				40625/40627 converted to F-7B
				40629 converted to F-7B
44-40649/40748		Consolidated B-24J-175-CO Liberator
				40656 converted to F-7B
				40658/40659 converted to F-7B
				40663 converted to F-7B
				40669 converted to F-7B
44-40749/40848		Consolidated B-24J-180-CO Liberator
				40847 converted to F-7B
44-40849/40948		Consolidated B-24J-185-CO Liberator
				40883 converted to F-7B
				40885 converted to F-7B
				40895 converted to F-7B
44-40949/41048		Consolidated B-24J-190-CO Liberator
				40961 converted to F-7B
				40963 converted to F-7B
				40967 converted to F-7B
				41013 converted to F-7B
				41040 converted to F-7B (may have been 
					converted to an F-7B)
44-41449/41548		Consolidated B-24L-5-CO Liberator
				41477 converted to F-7B
44-41649/41748		Consolidated B-24L-15-CO Liberator
				41678/41681 converted to F-7B
44-41849/41948		Consolidated B-24M-5-CO Liberator
				41943/41944 converted to F-7B
44-41949/42048		Consolidated B-24M-10-CO Liberator
				41968 converted to F-7B
				42026 converted to F-7B
				42028 converted to F-7B
				42031 converted to F-7B
44-42049/42148		Consolidated B-24M-15-CO Liberator
				42059 converted to F-7B
				42097/42098 converted to F-7B
				42135/42136 converted to F-7B
				42141 converted to F-7B
44-42149/42248		Consolidated B-24M-20-CO Liberator
				42239 converted to F-7B
44-42249/42348		Consolidated B-24M-25-CO Liberator
				42265 converted to F-7B
				42272 converted to F-7B
				42302 converted to F-7B
				42313/42314 converted to F-7B
				42328 converted to F-7B
44-42349/42448		Consolidated B-24M-30-CO Liberator
				42350 converted to F-7B
				42373 converted to F-7B
				42376 converted to F-7B
				42387 converted to F-7B
				42403 converted to F-7B
				42409 converted to F-7B
				42426 converted to F-7B
44-42449/42548		Consolidated B-24M-35-CO Liberator
				42452 converted to F-7B
				42478/42480 converted to F-7B
44-42549/42648		Consolidated B-24M-40-CO Liberator
				42580 converted to F-7B
				42604/42605 converted to F-7B
				42621 converted to F-7B
44-42649/42722		Consolidated B-24M-45-CO Liberator
				42653 converted to F-7B
				42686/42687 converted to F-7B
				42689/42691 converted to F-7B
				42693 converted to F-7B
				42695/42722 converted to F-7B
44-51452/51928		Ford B-24M-30-FO Liberator
				51518 converted to F-7B
				51655 converted to F-7B


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