Aircraft History

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

During the Battle of the Atlantic in1942 it became evident that if the RCAF's Eastern Air Command squadrons were to play a role in defeating the German U-boat, they would need a Very Long Range aircraft to close the "gap" in air cover between Newfoundland and Iceland. The B-24 Liberator, modified to the bomber reconnaissance role, was the only aircraft available that combined the range requirements with sufficient firepower. After much urging the RAF agreed to divert some of their highly coveted Liberators to the RCAF. No. 10 Squadron took delivery of their Liberators at RCAF Station Dartmouth in April 1943 and proceeded immediately to Newfoundland. The sinking of U-341 southwest of Iceland on 19 September 1943 by a No. 10 Squadron Liberator proved the "gap" was closed. Similarly, No. 11 Squadron, the only other RCAF squadron to fly Liberators in the anti-submarine role, received their Liberators in July 1943 at RCAF Station Dartmouth and split their operations between Dartmouth and Newfoundland. From 1943 until the end of WW II, the RCAF had taken 148 Liberators on strength.

Type:  Heavy long range bomber and Very Long Range (VLR) maritime patrol bomber

Wing Span: 33.53 m (110 ft 0 in) Length20.47 m (67 ft 2 in) Height 5.49 m (18 ft 0 in)

Length: 20.47 m (67 ft 2 in)

Height: 5.49 m (18 ft 0 in)

Max. Speed: 467 kph (290 mph)

Service Ceiling: 8535 m (28,000 ft)

Range: 3380 km (2100 miles)

Max. Weight: 32,296 kg (71,200 lb)

Empty Weight: 16,556 kg (36,500 lb)

Armament: Twin 7.7 mm (0.303 in) or 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns in nose, dorsal and tail turrets and two 7.7 mm (0.303 in) or 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns in waist positions plus 5896 kg (13,000 lb) bomb load.

Power Plant: Four 895 kW (1200 hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65 Twin Wasp radial piston engines