Corgi AA34017 USAAF Consolidated B-24D-25 Liberator Heavy Bomber - "Ruth-less," 506th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group, Shipdham, 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
Life for the B-24 heavy bomber began in 1939, when the Army Air Corps initiated a request for a new bomber designed to exceed the performance of the B-17. Consolidated Aircraft responded quickly with its proposal, labeled Consolidated Model 32 and, on March 30th, 1939, was awarded the contract. One day short of nine months later, on December 29th, 1939, the first flight of the XB-24 bomber prototype took place.
Slightly smaller than the B-17, the turbosupercharger-equipped B-24 flew farther with a bigger bomb load than the much more publicized Boeing aircraft. Of seven service-test YB-24s, six were sent to the Royal Air Force (RAF) under the export designation LB-30A. Because they lacked turbosuperchargers and self-sealing fuel tanks, the RAF found them unsuitable for combat duty over Europe. Instead, they were stripped of their armament and put into service as transports on the Trans-Atlantic Return Ferry Service, which had been established to send air crews to Montreal to take delivery of American aircraft consigned to the British war effort.
Flying for the Army Air Corps as the B-24, and the U.S. Navy as the PB4Y-1, the plane also saw service in the Royal Air Force where it was known simply as the Liberator. There was also a transport version known as the C-87, one of which was Winston Churchill's personal aircraft, carrying him to historic meetings at Moscow and Casablanca, among other locations.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USAAF Consolidated B-24D-25 Liberator Heavy Bomber that was nicknamed "Ruth-less," and attached to the 506th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group, then deployed to Shipdham, England, during 1943. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 18.12 inches
Length: 11.25 inches
Release Date: April 2014
Historical Account: "Ruth-less" - B-24D 'Ruth-less' had an eventful life before even leaving the United States. While pilot Frank Slough was practising formation flying another machine lost control and slammed into his aircraft, severing the tail of the other B-24 and smashing the nose of Slough's B-24. The co-pilot panicked and abandoned the aircraft, leaving the engineer James Caillier to take over as co-pilot, helping to land the stricken craft. For this both received medals. Once in the UK the aircraft undertook many tough raids, including missions to Kiel and, while on detachment to Libya, assaults on the Ploesti oil fields. 'Ruth-less' was lost on 2nd February 1944 when it smashed into the top of a hill near Eastbourne. All were killed in the accident and today a memorial marks the spot.