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B-24 Liberator Project AL557 for sale

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  • GraemePaul
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Oct 2012
    • 30

    B-24 Liberator Project AL557 for sale

    I saw this over on Wix forum. If the lottery numbers ever come up, Would love to see a B-24 in RAF / Coastal command colours..

    https://www.trade-a-plane.com/search...type=aircraft#
  • Matt Poole
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Dec 2004
    • 459

    #2
    There is great background history of AL557 in the book "Hidden Warbirds" by Nick Veronico. Here's a google link to book excerpts:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=X-y...ins%22&f=false

    AL557 ended up in India for about ten and a half months on 159 Squadron, a focus of my research. Heres an excerpt from Nicks book:

    ...at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, England. Here the bomber was prepared for operations in India.

    After making the transit, AL557 arrived at Salbani, India (west of Calcutta), on July 10, 1943, where it was assigned to No. 159 Squadron, Air Command South East Asia. Here the Liberator served as a long-range transport for nearly a year. On May 23, 1944, AL557 departed India for the Mediterranean Allied Forces. In April 1945, AL557 was flown from the Mediterranean to Scottish Aviation for conversion to a passenger carrier.


    I have copies of six 159 Squadron airmens logbooks which mention this particular aircraft on 22 training flights between 3 August and 1 October 1943. Attached is one entry from the logbook of 404534 RNZAF observer Joseph Nolan Culleton. He flew only once aboard AL557.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	AL557highlighted.jpg Views:	0 Size:	322.0 KB ID:	3868498
    Last edited by Matt Poole; 20th July 2019, 21:30.
    RAF LIBERATORS OVER BURMA (subtitled FLYING WITH 159 SQUADRON) by Bill Kirkness DFM and Matt Poole, published by Fonthill Media

    Comment

    • J Boyle
      With malice towards none
      • Oct 2004
      • 9793

      #3
      Notice the wing is from a USAAF example.
      There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

      Comment

      • Brenden S
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Dec 2016
        • 200

        #4
        175K that person has to be dreaming.

        Comment

        • Matt Poole
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Dec 2004
          • 459

          #5
          Yes, that wing shows American markings, but...

          From the Nick Veronico book, and via the AL557 history in The Liberator in Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Service by James D. Oughton, it is clear that this aircraft never flew with the US military. It is a safe bet that the wings which are for sale are from AL557, not another Liberator with US provenance; photos of the pranged-and-recovered AL557 airframe show recoverable wings. Here is a photo of the wreck in Alaska before recovery -- from the Trade-A-Plane ad (via WIX forum). My guess is that the American insignia was bogus.

          A further excerpt from the Veronico book:

          In July 1990, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage recovered the ex-World War II bomber and put it up for sale. In 1996, the fairly intact bomber project was bought by the Lone Star Flight Museum of Galveston, TexasLone Star had the aircraft transported to Vintage Aircraft Ltd. At Fort Collins, Colorado, where it has remained in outside storage. In 2001, Lone Star sold the bomber to Don Whittingtons World Jet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	AL557prang,Alaska,crop.jpg
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          RAF LIBERATORS OVER BURMA (subtitled FLYING WITH 159 SQUADRON) by Bill Kirkness DFM and Matt Poole, published by Fonthill Media

          Comment

          • J Boyle
            With malice towards none
            • Oct 2004
            • 9793

            #6
            I was thinking the wing might be from a different aircraft.
            I don't know why someone would paint wreckage unless it was used in a film.
            There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

            Comment

            • mikeeepannell
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jul 2007
              • 78

              #7
              Its currently in Fort Collins Colorado i have lots of photos of it taken recently

              Comment

              • Matt Poole
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Dec 2004
                • 459

                #8
                But I'm guessing that AL557 is no longer in the same outdoor location where it was stored for years, on the side of a building at 128 Racquette Drive. Can you tell us anything more, mikeeepannell? At least it's not outdoors in the latest-available Google Earth imagery dated 14 October 2017. The previous imagery, 7 Sept 2016, showed the Liberator remnants still in outdoor storage.

                Sure would be great to learn that the remnants are protected against the elements for the time being, though for all I know, the remains were simply moved to another outdoor location nearby, still in Fort Collins, CO.
                Click image for larger version  Name:	FtCollins,Lib,7Sep16_14Oct17.jpg Views:	0 Size:	349.5 KB ID:	3868676
                Last edited by Matt Poole; 22nd July 2019, 20:49.
                RAF LIBERATORS OVER BURMA (subtitled FLYING WITH 159 SQUADRON) by Bill Kirkness DFM and Matt Poole, published by Fonthill Media

                Comment

                • Matt Poole
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Dec 2004
                  • 459

                  #9
                  Someone posted this on the Warbirds Information Exchange (WIX) forum:

                  YEARS ago when I talked to the Whittington Bros (representative?) about the plane I was told the wings came from somewhere else and were in a "much better" state than the rest of the fuselage.

                  This would explain the US markings on the underside of the wing; the US star can be seen in the 7 Sept 2016 satellite image I posted.
                  Last edited by Matt Poole; 22nd July 2019, 22:58.
                  RAF LIBERATORS OVER BURMA (subtitled FLYING WITH 159 SQUADRON) by Bill Kirkness DFM and Matt Poole, published by Fonthill Media

                  Comment

                  • GraemePaul
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 30

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Matt Poole View Post
                    Someone posted this on the Warbirds Information Exchange (WIX) forum:

                    YEARS ago when I talked to the Whittington Bros (representative?) about the plane I was told the wings came from somewhere else and were in a "much better" state than the rest of the fuselage.

                    This would explain the US markings on the underside of the wing; the US star can be seen in the 7 Sept 2016 satellite image I posted.
                    Privateer wings possibly?

                    Comment

                    • J Boyle
                      With malice towards none
                      • Oct 2004
                      • 9793

                      #11
                      Not Privateer wings...at least not with an identification based solely on those markings.

                      The insignia seen is 1942-style, the PB4Y-2s (the single fin model for those of you not fluent in USN designations) of which many survived post war to serve as fire bombers...and thus could be the source of any spare wings laying about...were built much later and never used that style of national markings.
                      Last edited by J Boyle; 23rd July 2019, 18:32.
                      There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                      Comment

                      • mikeeepannell
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jul 2007
                        • 78

                        #12
                        Its now outside the back of Ray Middletons hanger next door on Racquette drive, still out in the open

                        Comment

                        • Matt Poole
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Dec 2004
                          • 459

                          #13
                          Thanks for that, mikeeepannell. Oh well, still in outdoor storage. I located its new outdoor location on the 14 Oct 2017 Google Earth imagery.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	2019,location,AL557,FtCollins,3.jpg
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ID:	3868755
                          RAF LIBERATORS OVER BURMA (subtitled FLYING WITH 159 SQUADRON) by Bill Kirkness DFM and Matt Poole, published by Fonthill Media

                          Comment

                          • ollieholmes
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Oct 2005
                            • 2434

                            #14
                            And sadly the origional advert has now been deleted.

                            Comment

                            • Lysanderlover
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • May 2015
                              • 82

                              #15
                              Originally posted by ollieholmes View Post
                              And sadly the origional advert has now been deleted.
                              Or perhaps happily a buyer has been found and it is off to a loving home.....

                              Comment

                              • mikeeepannell
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jul 2007
                                • 78

                                #16
                                Yes my missile silo in Cheyenne....in my dreams

                                Comment

                                • J Boyle
                                  With malice towards none
                                  • Oct 2004
                                  • 9793

                                  #17
                                  I do hope someone steps up and takes on the project.

                                  After all, compared to most Spitfire projects nowadays, (which look to be pieces of long buried wrecks), this aircraft is almost complete!
                                  There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                                  Comment

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