Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C87 Liberator Express

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Z Square 7 Crew Families
Z Square 7 Crew Cemeteries.
Missing Air Crew Report
Z Square 7 Crew Military Funeral
Memorial Lt Eugene M. Thomas Jr (Marion, Al)
Memorial Lt Francis X. Glacken (Cambridge, MA)
Memorial Lt Norman B. Bassett (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
Marcia Bassett McGrattan
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Peter & Lillian Demers/Charlotte (Demers) Fiasconaro
Memorial Sgt Louis A. Dorio (Clarksville, VA)
HIRE OUR VETERANS!
POW-MIA-KIA Ceremony
500th Bomb Group, 73rd Wing Honor Roll
Bill Mauldin With Willie And Joe
Father John McBride
S/Sgt Kenneth O. Eslick with Photo Album
Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180
Frank Farr & Merseburg, Germany
"Lili Marlene" The Song!
"Lili Marlene" The B-17
"Lily Marlene" The B-24
"Lili Marlene" The B-24
Ivan Fail Introduction and "Long Before The Guns And Tanks."
Ivan Fail's "Tribute to the Queen"
American Battle Monuments Commission - Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission - Memorials
NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
THE MARINE CORPS WAR MEMORIAL (IWO JIMA )
KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL
VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
M/Sgt Roy P. Benavidez, Vietnam Medal Of Honor
Frank Farr Poetry "November 2, 1944", "Old Men And The War", " Merseburg"
Some Pictures of World War 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Pages Introduction
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Crew Index
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 1
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Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B29 Superfortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B26 Marauder
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B25 Mitchell
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B24 Liberator
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B17 Flying Fortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C87 Liberator Express
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - PBM-5 Mariner
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A20 Havoc Attack Bomber
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C47 Transport
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - P61 Black Widow
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A26 Invader
GIVE OUR VETERANS JOBS!!
Ivan Fail's "The Tuskegee Airmen"
Airmen Medal Of Honor Memorial
Memorial Page #1
Memorial Page #2
Memorial Page #3
Memorial Page #4
Memorial Page #5
Memorial Page #6
The Navajo Code Talkers & Native American Medals Of Honor
Ivan Fail's "D Day, The Normandy Invasion"
B-29 Crew Positions & Specifications
About The Book
C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller
Ivan Fail's "When The Mustangs Came"
Contacts
Ivan Fail "The Eighteen Wheeler's Hymn"
Awards
Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building with photo album
Ivan Fail's "Against All Odds - Mission Complete"
Ford Tolbert by Sallyann
Ford Tolbert Pictures
A Tribute to Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, The Black Sheep Squadron
Lt Halloran Eulogy for Colonel Boyington
Omori POW Camp
Ivan Fail's "A Salute To Lt. Holguin"/ "Shoo Shoo Baby"
Great Bend, Kansas B-29 Memorial
General Lemay's biography including a B-29 nose art photo album
THE GENERAL AND MRS CURTIS LEMAY FOUNDATION
March 9 and 10, 1945 Over Tokyo
Lt "Hap" Halloran on March 10, 1945
General Earl Johnson
General Earl Johnson Biography
313th Bomb Wing Mining Missions
Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
Pyote Bomber Base With A Photo Album
History of "Diamond Lil" With A Photo Album
History of "FIFI" With A Photo Album
"Hap" Halloran induction Combat Airman Hall of Fame
Blackie Blackburn with a photo album
Hap's Memorable Flight On FIFI
C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
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C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
OUR VETERANS NEED WORK!
Pearl Harbor with Photo Album
The Pacific Theater
Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands
Saipan Medals of Honor
Battle of Tinian, Mariana Islands
Tinian Medals of Honor
Battle of Guam, Mariana Islands
Guam Medals of Honor
Battle of Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Japanese Surrender
Navy Ships At Surrender Ceremonies
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page

C-87 Liberator Express
 

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The C-87 Liberator Express was a transport version of the B-24D bomber.

 

The first Liberator transport was created by converting B-24D serial number 42-40355 which had been damaged in a crash landing in the Arizona desert in early 1942. All of the bombing equipment and defensive armament were deleted, and the nose glazing where the bombardier sat was replaced by a sheet metal nose which hinged to the right. A floor was installed through the bomb bay and into the waist compartment. Rectangular windows were cut into the sides of the fuselage, and 25 seats were added. There was a large 6x6 door incorporated into the port side of the fuselage. The navigator's compartment was relocated to a position just aft of the pilot's cockpit, and an astrodome was installed where the top turret had been located. The tail turret was removed and replaced by a metal fairing. The crew was normally four--pilot, copilot, navigator, and radio operator.

 

The prototype was flown to Bolling Field in Washington, DC for evaluation. The Army was sufficiently impressed that they ordered the aircraft into production as the C-87 Liberator Express. All of the C-87s were built at Consolidated/Fort Worth and were delivered between September 2, 1942 and August 10, 1944. The first 73 C-87s were conversions from existing B-24Ds, with the remainder being built from scratch on the Fort Worth production line as transports. A total of 287 C-87s were built by Consolidated/Fort Worth. The C-87s were not assigned production block numbers, but there were six different versions of the C-87 that were built which incorporated a number of specific changes.

Most C-87s were assigned to Air Transport Command. When Burma fell to the Japanese in April of 1942, China's only route to the Allied supply line, the Burma Road, was cut. The only route to China from India was now by air, involving a treacherous flight over the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. This route came to be known as the *Hump*. On September 12, 1943, the Air Transport Command established a new route to China via the Hump. This route began at Patterson Field, Ohio and ended in China. This round trip route covered 28,000 miles and took twelve days to complete. ATC C-87s became an important part of this operation. So dangerous was this route that the USAAF ended up losing three crewmen for each thousand tons of cargo that reached China. The Hump operation ended up costing the lives of over a thousand USAAF crewmen.

 

During the war, so great was the need for an air transportation system that the Army was forced to turn to the commercial airlines to help operate the system. In addition to ATC, four commercial airlines operated the Liberators under contract. These were Consairways, American Airlines, United Air Lines, and T&WA.

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Consairways was organized as a separate subsidiary of Consolidated Aircraft. The original purpose of Consairways was to return the crews ferrying aircraft to the Pacific back to the USA, but it later ended up flying cargo of just about every imaginable type back and forth between the USA and the Pacific theatre. It also flew USO shows to entertain the troops in the Pacific. Consairways operated a mixture of LB-30s, C-87s, and B-24s. Two C-87s known to have been operated by Consairways were 41-24029 and 41-11706.

 

In January of 1943, American Airlines was awarded a contract by ATC to operate C-87s over North Atlantic and South Atlantic routes. These planes flew in military insignia and markings and carried USAAF serials, but were operated by civilian crews. Later, American Airlines personnel also flew numerous dangerous Hump missions. C-87s flown by American Airlines: 41-11608, 41-11639, 41-11657, 41-11674, 41-11675, 41-11729, 41-11731, 41-11744, 41-11745, 41-11746, 41-11788, 41-23695, 41-23859, 41-23792, 41-23959, 41-24141, 41-24163, 42-107274, 43-30565. One of the more notable exploits of AA-piloted C-87s was the 31,000-mile trip made by FDR's "One World Ambassador", Wendell Wilkie, aboard C-87 41-11608 *Gulliver*. This involved a 51-day mission to Cairo, Palestine, Baghdad, Teheran, Moscow, and China, and then a return to the United States via a route across the Pacific. AA later traded in their C-87s for more advanced C-54 Skymasters.

United Airlines was awarded a contract by ATC to fly trans-Pacific routes and to fly intra-theater leave shuttles ferrying armed forces personnel back and forth between the front and leave ports in Australia and New Zealand. C-87s operated by United Airlines included 41-24005, 41-24027, 41-24028, 41-24160, 41-24252, 41-24253, 41-11608, 41-11640, 41-11642, 41-11642, 41-11655, 41-11656, 41-11789, and 41-11861.

 

During the war, Transcontinental & Western Airlines (T&WA)--later to become Trans World Airlines or TWA--operated Liberators for training and in support of USAAF Ferry Command operations. In late 1942, T&WA's new Intercontinental Division was assigned three C-87s to fly the South Atlantic route between the USA and the Middle East.

 

The C-87A was a VIP transport version of the basic C-87. The C-87 had been essentially a "no-frills" transport, with little attention being paid to passenger comfort. The C-87A was designed for more passenger comfort, and had only 16 seats. It could be fitted with Pullman-type upholstered seats that could be converted into five berths. Because of the different seating accommodation, the window arrangement was different. The first three C-87As were named Gulliver I, Gulliver II, and Gulliver III. A total of six were built, three for the USAAF and three for the US Navy. Gulliver I (serial 41-11680 (some sources have it as 41-11608)), converted from a B-24D) was used by Wendell Wilkie in a 31,000 mile 51-day around the world flight in 1942. C-87A 41-24159 later became the first "Air Force One" for President Franklin Roosevelt, and was renamed *Guess Where II*.

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Three C-87A VIP transports were turned over to the Navy under the designation RY-1. Navy BuNos were 67797/67799. Five C-87s were transferred to the US Navy under the designation RY-2. BuNos were 39013/39017.

 

Five C-87s were converted into AT-22 trainers, which were employed for training flight engineers. Their serial numbers were 42-107266, 43-30549, 43-30561, 42-30574, and 43-30584. Six stations were provided in the fuselage for the instruction of flight engineers in the operation of powerplants. They were intended to train engineers that were going to be flying aboard B-24 and B-32 bombers In 1944, these five planes were redesignated TB-24D.

 

24 USAAF C-87s were transferred to the RAF under Lend-Lease for use by Transport Command as Liberator C.VII. Their RAF serials were EW611/EW634. Known USAAF serial numbers are 44-39219 and 44-39248/39261, which accounts for only 15 of the 24 C.VIIs. They were used by Nos. 232, 246, and 511 Squadrons starting with mid to late 1944 up until the end of the war. EW611, ex-USAAAF 44-39219, became G-AKAG. The RAF did not keep its Liberator C.VIIs very long, disposing of the last examples in 1946.

The C-87s were not very popular with their crews, who complained about all sorts of hazards, particularly with the fuel system, with the engines, and with the cockpit accessories. The C-87 was notorious for problems with leaking fuel tanks, and midair fires were an ever-present danger. The C-87 also had some dangerous icing properties, which made it a very risky plane to fly over the Hump. There were few tears shed when the Army's C-87s were withdrawn from service and replaced by more reliable Douglas C-54 Skymasters.

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