24's Get Back

Discussion in 'Military' started by Daryl Hunt, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Daryl Hunt
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    Daryl Hunt Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The B-24 did the extremely long range bombing before the B-29. It's range was great that it could fly from Southern England and hit targets on the Eastern side of Germany. It's range was so great that even after the P-51B/C/D was introduced that it would fly the last leg of it's bombing mission without fighter escort.

    Before the B-29s, the B-24 was already firebombing Japan. And it continued even after the B-29 arrived. Out of Italy, it was hitting the Oil Refineries and Storage in Romania but luckily, it had fighter escorts for that.

    24's Get Back
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball Unobtanium Member Supporting Member

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    Flying coffin.
     
  3. Daryl Hunt
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    Daryl Hunt Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    There is no data to say that the B-17 was any less prone to loss than the B-24. I think the reason that the B-24 got a bad rap was that the B-17 got all the press and the B-24 didn't get very much except when things went terribly wrong. The Losses were about equal for normal ETO missions.

    But for the extreme long range bombing missions into eastern Germany, the B-24 got hit hard since it flew without any Fighter escort. By late 1943, the B-17 and the B-24 both had fighter escorts even if it were from the P-38 all the way to Berlin and back.. But going for the fuel refineries in eastern Europe, NO fighters including the P-51 had the range so the B-24 had to fly that without fighter escort.

    In the Pacific, the B-17 started out being able to handle the job. But as time went on, the missions and the distances got longer and longer until the B-17 could no longer do the missions required. The B-24, in late 1943, became the most used Heavy Bomber in the Pacific because it could fly the 14 hour missions and return. Plus, it could fly 50 mph faster than the B-17 which meant the escort P-38s could fly a little faster and conserve fuel and stay with them the whole 14 hour flight. Before you go off on how the P-51 was the better escort fighter, it was in the ETO but in the PTO, you had longer flights at lower altitudes and you were over water the entire time with almost no way to be rescued if you went down. Single Engine Aircraft were too dangerous for escort service. With 2 engines, even if you lost one, the P-38 got you home.

    The Wolfpack was broken up by the B-24s. There was an area that could not be covered by any other aircraft at the time in the Atlantic. So the German U-boats would hang around that area and reek havoc on merchant ships. When the B-24D started to fly the Maritime Missions, the Woldpacks days were numbered. When the surfaced for air, like all subs of the day had to, if a B-24 was overhead, the B-24 would drop bombs and even drop down low enough to strafe with it's 50 cal Brownings. You can't dive with holes punched in the top of your sub and it was just a matter of time before the B-24 dropped a bomb on you or a Destroyer showed up and really ruined your day. At that point, better to skuttle the sub and many did.

    Was the B-24 a flying coffin? Over Germany in the daytime, ALL bombers were flying coffins even with fighter escorts.
     
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