Consolidated Liberator I (LB-30B)

The Consolidated Liberator I was the first version of the aircraft to see active service with the RAF. Like the earlier LB-30A it had been taken over from the original French order for the LB-30. Also like the LB-30A the twenty Liberator Is were delivered to the RAF at Montreal and ferried across the Atlantic.

Liberator I
Liberator I

They were initially armed with six .303in machine guns – two in the tail, one in each waist position, one in the nose and one in the belly. Once in Britain they were modified for service with Coastal Command. This required the fitting of depth charge racks in the bomb bays, a belly fairing containing four 20mm cannon for use against surfaced U-boats and ASV radar. This radar required the addition of aerials under the wing and on the aft fuselage, where they took the form of long vertical and horizontal masts sticking out from the fuselage.

The majority of the Liberator Is entered service with No. 120 Squadron. That squadron was formed on 2 June 1941, and began anti-submarine patrols with the Liberators on 20 September 1941. The Liberator had much longer range and higher speed than any previous aircraft available to the British, and helped to close part of the mid-Atlantic gap. The squadron lost its last Liberator Is in February 1943, by which time it had gained Liberator IIs and Liberator IIIs.

 Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Crowood Aviation), Martin W. Bowman. A well balanced book that begins with a look at the development history of the B-24, before spending nine out of its ten chapters looking at the combat career of the aircraft in the USAAF, the US Navy and the RAF.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 January 2008), Consolidated Liberator I (LB-30B) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_liberator_I.html

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