|This is a photo by George Villasenor of a Navy PB4Y Privateer. This aircraft was originally derived from the Army Air Force's B-24D. Attu, AK. Circa 1945.|
|Another view of the Navy PB4Y Privateer by George Villasenor. Attu, AK. Circa 1945.|
Consolidated PB4Y-2 "Privateer"
The U.S. Navy made heavy use of their USAAF Service configured B-24D-derived PB4Y-1 Liberators from August 1942 onwards in the Pacific and over the Atlantic. In early 1943, the Navy placed a contract for an aircraft based on the original B-24D Liberator design with enhancements for their use as a dedicated naval long-range patrol bomber. Three B-24Ds were taken off the San Diego production line and modified with a lengthened fuselage (by 7 feet), navalized interiors, greater defensive armament, modified engine cowlings, and a distinctive vertical tail similar to that fitted to the final Liberator transport variant.
The Navy ordered 739 aircraft in a single production run, with 286 delivered in 1944 and the remainder in 1945. Few had reached the front lines by VJ-Day, although VP-24 did achieve operational status with the Bat anti-cruise missile in the weeks prior to Japan's surrender. The Privateer went on to perform its best work during the Cold War era as a radar and electronic countermeasures platform. It was re-designated as the P4Y in 1951. After service with the U.S. Coast Guard, the final units were retired in the early 1960s.
First Flight Date: 20 September 1943
Additional References: Jane's Historic Military
Last Updated: 23 January 2014 09:29