The B-24 Liberator was designed in 1939 as a
replacement for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Its roomy fuselage and
high aspect ratio Davis wing enabled the B-24 to fly higher, farther and
carry a greater bomb load than the B-17. A total of 18,481 examples were
built making it the most widely produced U.S. military aircraft to date.
It served on all battle fronts in various roles that included bombing,
mine laying, photo-reconnaissance, cargo and transport duties. It was
particularly well suited for service in the Pacific theatre where its long
range capability proved of value.
This particular aircraft is one of 1,278 delivered to the RAF and coastal command as part of a lend-lease. Known as a Liberator Mark VI in the RAF, it is believed to have been delivered in August 1944 to 215 Squadron RAF in Kolar, India as a replacement for the Vickers Wellington bombers which were being phased out. If this is the case, the aircraft would have participated in the long range bombing missions the squadron made into Burma to destroy the infamous Siam-Burma railway bridges that the Japanese built at the cost of over 24,000 allied prisoners lives.
After WWII, the RAF destroyed most of their lend-lease aircraft to avoid paying for them. Some salvageable aircraft were acquired by the newly independent government of India. This aircraft is 1 of 4 surplus Indian Air Force B-24 bombers acquired by collectors in the early 1970's and was subsequently acquired by Kermit Weeks. The aircraft was flown to Fantasy of Flight in the early 1990's and is one of a very few Liberators flying today.