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^ top
Consolidated B-24 Liberator/PB4Y Privateer

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 Pages: [ 1 all ]
B-24D-1-CO 'Blonde Bomber II'
Unit: ex 343rd BS, 98th BG, 9th AF, USAAF
Serial: I-RAIN

B-24D-1-CO s/n.41-23659 'Blonde Bomber II', of the 343rd, 98th BG 'The Pyramiders' 9th AF. 'Blonde Bomber II', flown by the crew of Lt.Dan Story, took port in the Naples raid on 24th February 1943. During the attack one of the engines was damaged by AAA fire, making it unlikely that the machine should make it back to its base in Libya. The pilot decided to divert to Malta, but due to appalling weather and consequent navigation error, the 'Blonde Bomber II' landed at Pachino, Sicily. Realizing their mistake the pilots attempted to take off, but the pouring rain has turned the runway into a bog. On 4th March 1943, using the remaining fuel, (Captain Giovanni Raino took off to Catania to refuel the airplane with German petrol, as Italian fuels were of too poor quality. For that flight the airplane was given Regia Aeronautica markings in place of the US stars, but this proved of little use as during its subsequent flight to the test centre at Guidonia, Italian AAA gunners have fired accurately at the unmistakable Liberator which, however, made it to its destination, if only on two engines.

Artist: © Jacek R.Jackiewicz - KECAY
Source: Monografie Lotnicze 86, AJ-Press

Discussion: Comments
Consolidated B-24 Liberator/PB4Y Privateer | Italy (fascists) | ex 343rd BS, 98th BG, 9th AF, USAAF | B-24D-1-CO 'Blonde Bomber II' | I-RAIN
05/08/2013

On 11th March 1943 the Luftwaffe have officially applied to the Regia Aeronautica to hand over the Liberator for trials and comparative testing. On 19th June 1943 Captian Giovanni Raina flew the 'Blonde Bomber II', now painted olive green overall and with civil registration I-RAIN, from Guidonia to the Luftwaffe test centre at Rechlin. Throughout the testing the aeroplane was flown with Italian markings, as shown in numerous published photos from the period (this second profile). Damaged by a German crew during landing after a test flight, the Liberator was never repaired, as by that time the Luftwaffe had several serviceable Liberators of later variants. That is why, according to the author of this colour plate, any speculation as to whether the 'Blonde Bomber II' was ever adorned with black crosses and swastikas is useless. Who would care to repaint a wreck? PS: also look German section.

Artist: © Jacek R.Jackiewicz - KECAY
Source: Monografie Lotnicze 86, AJ-Press

Consolidated B-24 Liberator/PB4Y Privateer | Italy (fascists) | ex 343rd BS, 98th BG, 9th AF, USAAF | B-24D-1-CO 'Blonde Bomber II' | I-RAIN
05/08/2013



Artist: © John Weal
Source: Air International Magazine, March 1982 (Vol.22, No.3)

Consolidated B-24 Liberator/PB4Y Privateer | Italy (fascists) | ex 343rd BS, 98th BG, 9th AF, USAAF | B-24D-1-CO 'Blonde Bomber II' | I-RAIN
05/08/2013



Artist: unknown
Source: "Consolidated B-24 Liberator", PKL - Przeglad Konstrukcji Lotniczych, No.5 1/1992
^ top

Consolidated B-24 Liberator/PB4Y Privateer | Italy (fascists) | ex 343rd BS, 98th BG, 9th AF, USAAF | B-24D-1-CO 'Blonde Bomber II' | I-RAIN
05/08/2013

 Pages: [ 1 all ]


Last update: 01/04/2013

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