View Full Version : Liberator production

04-15-2017, 04:24 PM
1 plane every 55 minutes.


04-15-2017, 04:47 PM
Thanks for posting.

04-15-2017, 05:48 PM
That was neat!

04-16-2017, 08:01 AM
Most of my life I assumed there were more B-17s than 24s. Surprised me a few years ago while researching at the air museum, that the Liberator production exceeded Fortress.

Henry Ford had reclaimed Ford management when his son Edsel died in 1943. Henry was near 80, failing mentally, hated unions and refused to hire women. He removed Sorensen from Willow Run management, and was giving conflicting often unintelligible orders to the shops. Roosevelt administration considered taking over the Ford plant, to prevent disruption in Liberator deliveries.

But we managed to pull through.


04-16-2017, 09:30 AM
Truly impressive.

04-16-2017, 11:46 AM
Had a ride in one of those in Olathe Kansas, back in 1957. Like riding in an un insulated tin can, the noise level was defining. Pure business, no frills! Appreciation to the crews that had to fly in them was and still is quite high, as in all of those war machines. Brave heroes all! :encouragement:

04-16-2017, 10:23 PM
The last B-24 produced at Ft. Worth was adorned with the names of all the factory workers. It was ferried to China via Greenland, England, Africa and India by Lt. Henry Podgurski and his crew. Podgurski is standing all the way to the left in the back row.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7610/27219256616_7ccff39fb8_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/HtgNFS)Hap Arnold Special (https://flic.kr/p/HtgNFS) by David Cohen (https://www.flickr.com/photos/13417903@N00/), on Flickr

Podgurski had a remarkable military career. He crossed into Canada and joined the RCAF prior to America's entry into World War II and earned his wings there. He never flew any combat missions with the RAF/RCAF, and transferred to the 8th Air Force in 1943, where he was assigned to the 93rd Bomb Group and became co-pilot of the B-24 "Liberty Lad". On the Ploesti Raid of August 1, 1943, the "Liberty Lad" was the last B-24 to successfully return to its home base -- minus two engines out on a the right wing. Podgurski and his pilot Ken McFarland fought to keep the bird in the air and were so exhausted by the time they landed, both had to be lifted from the cockpit. Podgurski finishes his tour with the 93rd and then flies the cargo version of the Liberator, both C-87s and war-weary CB-24s with the 27th Air Transport Group until well into 1944. Upon his return to the U.S., he is then assigned to the 373rd Bomb Squadron - then a top secret squadron utilizing radar-guided low altitude bombing techniques. The 373rd gets attached to the 308th Bomb Group in China - most flying anti-shipping strikes in the South China Sea. Later, they are transferred to Okinawa in July 1945 and become part of the 494th Bomb Group. On the night before the Japanese surrender, Podgurski was flying a leaflet dropping mission over the Tokyo area. With the war's end, the 373rd flew back across the Pacific to Mather Field in California, where Podgurski musters out.

He was recalled to active duty during 1948, leaving in 1949. That was when he decided he wanted to have a career in flying, eventually joining Capital in 1952. Unfortunately, his life was cut short on June 22, 1957. Riding in the cockpit jumpseat on a check flight to upgrade to captain from first officer, the plane, with another captain candidate at the controls and an instructor pilot in the right seat, the plane stalled and spun in. Henry Podgurski was only 37 years old and left behind a wife, two daughters and an unborn son. It seemed ironic that a man who had seen so much combat and survived without a scratch would lose his life on a routine training flight on a perfectly sunny day.