Corgi AA34016 USAAF Consolidated B-24J Liberator Heavy Bomber - "Shack Bunny", 867th Bombardment Squadron, 494th Bombardment Group, Angaur Island, Caroline Islands, 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 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-24J Liberator heavy bomber nicknamed 'Shack Bunny', which was attached to the 867th Bombardment Squadron, 494th Bombardment Group, then deployed to Angaur Island, Caroline Islands, during 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 18.12 inches
Length: 11.25 inches
Release Date: August 2009
Historical Account: "Heavy Duty" - Constituted as the 494th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on September 14th, 1943, the unit was activated on December 1st, 1943. The 494th trained for combat with B-24's then moved to Hawaii in June 1944 for additional training. Afterwards, it was assigned to the Seventh Air Force and moved to Palau in late September.
It helped to construct a base of operations on Angaur, then entered combat on November 3rd, 1944 with attacks against Japanese airfields on Yap and Koror. Later, it conducted strikes on other bypassed enemy installations in the Pacific and against the Japanese in the Philippines. Late in 1944, it struck gun emplacements, personnel areas, and storage depots on Corregidor and Caballo at the entrance to Manila Bay; bombed radio installations and power plants at Japanese bases in the Philippines; and attacked enemy-held airfields, including Clark Field on Luzon. Early in 1945, it struck airfields on Mindanao and ammunition and supply dumps in the Davao Gulf and Illana Bay areas.
The Group moved to Okinawa in June 1945. It was engaged primarily in attacks against enemy airfields on Kyushu until V-J Day. Also participated in incendiary raids, dropped propaganda leaflets over urban areas of Kyushu and struck airfields in China, in southern Korea, and around the Inland Sea of Japan.