Search: Sort by:




Heavy bomber

Anti-submarine warfare

Maritime patrol aircraft

Manufacturer  Consolidated Aircraft

First flight      29 December 1939

Introduction  1941

Retired       1968 (Indian Air Force)

Primary users   United States Army Air Forces

United States Navy

Royal Air Force

Royal Australian Air Force

Produced 1940–1945

Number built 18,500

Unit cost       

$297,627 ($5.07 million in today's dollars)


Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express

Consolidated Liberator I

Developed into  Consolidated R2Y

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San DiegoCalifornia. It was known within the company as the Model 32, and some initial production aircraft were laid down as export models designated as various LB-30s, in the Land Bomber design category.

At its inception, the B-24 was a modern design featuring a highly efficient shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing. The wing gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load. Early RAF Liberators were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a matter of routine. In comparison with its contemporaries the B-24 was relatively difficult to fly and had poor low speed performance; it also had a lower ceiling and was less robust than the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. While aircrews tended to prefer the B-17, General Staff favored the B-24, and procured it in huge numbers for a wide variety of roles. At approximately 18,500 units – including over 4,600 manufactured by Ford Motor Company – it holds records as the world's most produced bomber, heavy bomber, multi-engine aircraft, and American military aircraft in history.

The B-24 was used extensively in World War II. It served in every branch of the American armed forces, as well as several Allied air forces and navies, and saw use in every theater of operations. Along with the B-17, the B-24 was the mainstay of the U.S. strategic bombing campaign in the Western European theater. Due to its range, it proved useful in bombing operations in the Pacific, including the bombing of Japan. Long range anti-submarine Liberators played an instrumental role in closing the Mid-Atlantic gap in the Battle of the Atlantic. The C-87 transport derivative served as a longer range, higher capacity counterpart to the Douglas C-47 Skytrain.

Anti-Submarine WeaponsLeigh light used for spotting U-boats on the surface at night, fitted to a Liberator aircraft of Royal Air Force Coastal Command. 26 February 1944.

Photo. Royal Air Force official photographer : Miller (F/O) - This is photograph CH 13997 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.

By the end of World War II, the technological breakthroughs of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and other modern types had surpassed the bombers that served from the start of the war. The B-24 was rapidly phased out of U.S. service, although the PB4Y-2 Privateer maritime patrol derivative carried on in service with the U.S. Navy in the Korean War.

U.S. Navy operated 13 Anti  Submarine Squadrons scattered throughout the vast Brazilian coast ranging from Amapa in Amazon estuary to Santa Cruz at rio de Janeiro. PB4-Y were operated from Parnamirim Field at Natal on Northeastern coast with 12 aircrafts. These are as follows:

VB-107 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 15/6/1943 to 10/01/1945 - with PB4Y-1 Liberator.

VP-74 - Natal - RN (Ramp) 18/12/1942 to 04/28/1943 - with PBM-3C Mariner.

Aircrafts also operated in Salvador - BA (Aratu), Galeão (RJ) and Belém.

It sank the German submarines U-513 (7/19/1943) and U-161 (09/27/1943).

It located the submarine U-199 off Marica Rio de Janeiro and began the combat that resulted in the her sinking by Catalina "2" of the FAB Brazilian air Force on July 31, 1943.

VP-83 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 7/4/1942 to 1/5/1943 - with PBY-5A Catalina.

It sank the German submarines U-164 (1/6/1943) and U-507 (01/13/1943) and the Italian submarine Archimede (15/4/1943).

VP-94 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 21/01/1943 to 18/7/1943 - with PBY-5A Catalina.

VP 94 had aircrafts in Rio de Janeiro (Santos-Dumont), Belém,

Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador, São Luis, Fernando de Noronha, Maceió, Caravelas (BA) and Santa Cruz. Sank the German submarines U-590 (09/07/1943) and U-662 (21/7/1943).

VB-107 -- Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 15/6/1943 to 10/01/1945 - with PB4Y-1 Liberator.

This Squadron is the transformation of the VP-83, now endowed with the PB4Y-1.

It sank the following German submarines: U-598 (23/07/1943), U-848 (05/11/1943), U-849 (11/25/1943), U-177 (06/2/1944) and U-863 (09/29/1944).

For the excellent services rendered in the war, it received the Presidential Unit Citation.

Above one PB4-Y (Macahyba Madam) over the South Atlantic expanses in a routine patrol mission 

VPB-125 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 3/18/1945 to 4/30/1945 - with PV-1 Ventura.

Aircrafts also operated in Fortaleza and Fernando de Noronha.

VPB-126 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 1/18/1945 to 5/21/1945 - with PV-1 Ventura. Aircrafts were  also based in Fortaleza.

VB-127 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 14/5/1943 to 02/02/1943 - with PV-1 Ventura. Aircrafts were also based in Fortaleza.

It sank the German submarine U-591 (7/31/1943).

VB-129 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 30/5/1943 to 6/15/1943 - with PV-1 Ventura. Aircrafts were also based in Recife and Salvador (Ipitanga)

They took part in the sinking of the German submarine U-604 (7/30/1943).

VP-143 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 16/9/1943 to 01/28/1944 - with PV-1 Ventura. Aircrafts were also based in Salvador (Ipitanga).

It was replaced by the 2nd Medium Bomber Group of the FAB, which was based in Salvador, BA.

VB-145 - Natal - RN (Parnamirim Field) 16/9/1943 to 01/01/1945 - with PV-1 Ventura. Aircraft were also based in Fernando de Noronha, Ascension Island and Salvador (Ipitanga).

VP-203 - Salvador - BA (Aratu) 10/10/1943 to 23/01/1944 - with PBM-3S Mariner. Aircrafts were also based in Natal - RN (Rampa), Florianópolis - SC, Galeão (RJ) and Salvador (Aratu).

VP-211 - Salvador (Aratu) 16/10/1943 to 12/11/1943 - with PBM-3C Mariner.

Aircraft also were based in Galeão (RJ) and Natal (The Ramp).



(C) Since 2007 -