Corgi AA34007 USAAF Consolidated B-24D Liberator Heavy Bomber - "You Cawn't Miss It", Formation Assembly Ship, 448th Bombardment Group, RAF Bungay, England, February 1944 (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 30 of 1939, was awarded the contract. One day short of nine months later, on December 29, 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.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a B-24D Liberator was attached to the RAF's Coastal Command. Features retractable underbelly gun turret, full crew, rotating gun turrets, working undercarriage, and accurately reproduced nose art. Comes with a sturdy display stand. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 18.12 inches
Historical Account: Judas Goats" - The assembly ship provided a point of contact for the other Liberators, and so was often gaudily decorated. Once the group was in formation, the mission leader would take the lead, and the assembly aircraft, often stripped of guns, would return to base. Within the Eighth Air Force they were also known as "Judas Goats" because they were felt to be leading the other B-24s to their slaughter. This B-24D was one of the first off the San Diego production line, being delivered to the AAF on August 22nd, 1942. In February 1944, it was passed to the 448th BG, who stripped and painted it in the incredible color scheme depicted. This distinctive scheme was initially restricted to the fuselage and tail, but eventually the entire wing area was also adorned with yellow-and-black checkerboard squares.