Consolidated Liberator VI

The Consolidated Liberator VI was the RAF designation for the B-24H and early B-24Js, the first production versions of the aircraft to be built with a nose turret. As with the earlier Liberator III, the British replaced the tail turret with a Boulton Paul four gun turret but retained the American nose and dorsal turrets. This was the most numerous RAF version of the Liberator, with over 1,100 being delivered from late in 1943.

The majority of these aircraft served as B.VI bombers. Five Coastal Command squadrons used the type from bases in Britain, operating the Liberator GR.Mk VI, carrying centimetric radar in place of the ball turret.

Liberator KH162, No.357 Sqn, China Bay
Liberator KH162,
No.357 Sqn,
China Bay

Liberator VI 'Queenie II', No.357 Squadron, China Bay
Liberator VI 'Queenie II',
No.357 Squadron, China Bay

Consolidated A-6 Tail Turret, Liberator VI, No.357 Squadron
Consolidated A-6 Tail Turret, Liberator VI, No.357 Squadron
In all the Liberator VI equipped 36 squadrons of the RAF, SAAF and RCAF, performing a wide range of duties from bases in Britain, India, Italy and the Azores.

Ten squadrons used the Liberator VI from Britain, but of those five were post-war transport squadrons. The remaining five squadrons included two performing anti-submarine patrols, one performing coastal patrols, one patrolling off the coast of Norway and one bomber support squadron.

The largest number of Liberator VI squadrons were based in India where thirteen squadrons used the aircraft. Of those squadrons five used the aircraft as a bomber over Burma and south east Asia, three for special duties, flying supply drop missions, three for coastal patrols, two for transport duties and one each for air sea rescue, anti-submarine and anti-shipping duties.

Nine squadrons operated the Liberator VI from bases in Italy. Seven of those squadrons used them for a mix of bombing missions and supply drops across south and eastern Europe, as well against German targets in northern Italy, one used their Liberators purely for supply drops and one was a post-war transport squadron.

Finally No.220 Squadron carried out anti-submarine patrols in the South Atlantic, from bases on the Azores.

Liberator VI Squadrons of the RAF, RCAF and SAAF

Squadron

Dates

Location

Duty

8

May-Nov 45

India

Supply drops over Malaya

37

Oct 44-Mar 46

Italy

Bombing over Italy and Balkans

40

Mar 45-Jan 46

Italy

Bombing over Italy and Balkans

52

Dec 44-Dec 45

India

Transport

53

June 44-June 45

Britain

Anti-submarine patrols

70

Jan 45-March 46

Italy

Bombing and supply drops over Italy and Balkans

99

Sep 44-Nov 45

India

Bombing over Burma

102

Sep 45-Feb 46

Britain

Post war Transport

104

Feb 45-Nov 45

Italy

Bombing over Italy and Balkans

148

March 45-Jan 46

Italy

Post-war Transport

159

March 44-July 45

Burma

Bombing

160

Jan 44-Jan 45

India

Coastal Patrols

178

Dec 43-Nov 45

Mediterranean

Bombing

200

Nov 44-May 45

India

Coastal patrols then supply drops over Burma

203

Oct 44-March 46

India

Anti-shipping patrols

206

Apr 44-Apr 45

Britain

Coastal patrols

215

Aug 44-Apr 45

India

Bombing over Burma then transport

220

Dec 44-May 46

South Atlantic

Anti-submarine patrols

223

Aug 44-July 45

Britain

Bomber support squadron

232

Feb 45-Aug 46

India

Transport

246

Oct 45-Nov 45

Britain

Long range transport to Middle and Far East

292

Dec 44-June 45

India

Air-sea rescue

301

Nov 44-March 45

Italy

Supply drops over Poland, Yugoslavia and northern Italy

311

March 45-Feb 45

Britain

Patrols off Norway

321

Dec 44-Dec 45

India

Maritime patrols

354

Feb 44-May 45

India

Anti-submarine and anti-shipping patrols

355

Mar 44-Sept 45

India

Bombing over Burma

356

Jan 44-Nov 45

India

Bombing over Burma and meteorological duties

357

Sep 44-Nov 45

India

Supply drops over Burma

358

Nov 44-Nov 45

India

One bombing mission then special duties

422

Aug 45-Sept 45

Britain

Post-war transport

423

Aug 45-Sept 45

Britain

Post-war transport

426

July 45-Dec 45

Britain

Long range transport

547

June 44-June 45

Britain

Anti-submarine patrols

31 SAAF

Apr 44-Dec 45

Italy

Bombing and supply drops over Italy and the Balkans

34 SAAF

Aug 44-Dec 45

Italy

Bombing over eastern and central Europe, Italy and Balkans

 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.
cover cover cover

Air War Home Page - Air War Index - Air War Links - Air War Books
WWII Home Page - WWII Subject Index - WWII Links - WWII Books - Day by Day

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 February 2008), Consolidated Liberator VI , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_liberator_VI.html

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group - Cookies