Consolidated B-24A Liberator
A small number of the Liberators ordered by France were delivered to the U.S. Army as the B-24A. Sources disagree on the number of B-24As producing, giving a figure of eight or nine. Nine seems most likely as it is supported by serial number evidence. The remaining 120 aircraft in the French order were split between the RAF, where they served as the LB-30A and the U.S. Army where they were delivered as the B-24C and B-24D. The B-24As were soon redesignated as RB-24As (restricted non-combat use only).
These aircraft were delivered in the summer of 1941. By the end of the summer they were in use as long range transport aircraft, amongst other duties carrying the Harriman Mission to Moscow. There were also plans in place to have two of them fly over the Japanese bases at Truk, Jaluit and Ponape during trips from Hawaii to the Philippines, but the attack on Pearl Harbor came before that mission could be carried out. One of the two aircraft was destroyed during the attack on Hickam Field, but the other survived, logging over 10,000 flying hours before being scrapped. This works out at over 400 complete days in the air, and at the 200mph cruising speed of the B-24 would suggest that this aircraft travelled around two million miles!
How to cite this article:
Rickard, J (14 December 2007), Consolidated B-24A Liberator , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_B-24A.html
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