Consolidated Liberator III

The Consolidated Liberator III was the British designation for the B-24D. They carried a mix of guns, retaining the upper Martin powered turret with its .50 calibre machine guns, but replacing the other guns with .303 machine guns, one in the nose and two in each waist position. They were delivered with the original Consolidated A-6 tail turret, but once in Britain these were replaced by a four gun Boulton Paul turret. The RAF purchased 366 Liberator IIIs before the start of Lend Lease changed the way Britain gained American aircraft.

The Liberator III was the first British version of the aircraft to carry rockets. A number of the aircraft were given small airfoil winglets carried under the fuselage level with the pilot’s cockpit. These winglets could carry eight 5 inch High Velocity Aircraft Rockets for use against surfaced submarines. These aircraft were also often equipped with a five million candlepower Leigh Light.

Liberator III in the Middle East
Liberator III in the Middle East

After the start of Lend-Lease the RAF began to receive Liberators directly from stock intended for the USAAF. The first of these were given the designation Liberator IIIA and were identical to American B-24Ds, carrying the same guns as the American versions.

The Liberator III served with thirteen RAF squadrons of which seven were either part of Coastal Command or carried out similar duties from overseas stations. Of the remaining squadrons two used the Liberator III as a bomber over Burma (Nos. 159 and 355), one for special duties over Burma (No.357), one as a bomber in the Mediterranean theatre (No.178) and two for transport duties (Nos.232 and 246).

 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 (1 February 2008), Consolidated Liberator III , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_liberator_III.html

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