LB-30 Liberator AL624

Drigmorn Hill, Dumfries & Galloway

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: An RAF LB-30A Liberator in flight

 

A B-24 / LB-30 in RAF service 

 

Photo [pre-1957] Taken by an employee of the UK government. Photo now in the public domain.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Consolidated LB-30 (B-24)Liberator / AL624

 

Type Nickname: "Lib"; "Lumbering Lib"; "Flying Boxcar", and others.

 

The Consolidated B-24 heavy bomber first flew in 1939. The prototypes were equipped with four Pratt & Whitney 1200hp R-1830-33 Twin Wasp engines. Early production versions were fitted with P&W 1200hp R-1830-41 engines with GE turbo superchargers. Later production versions (B-24Ds) were fitted with P&W R-1830-43 engines. Later variants followed. Their maximum speed was about 487km/h (303mph).

The B-24 was fitted with 11 machine guns and had a bomb carrying capacity of about 3,629kgs (8,000lbs); and, with modifications, had a range of about 4600km (2,858 miles).

Although overshadowed by the B-17 (Flying Fortresses), the B-24 was produced in greater numbers than any other aircraft in history (in excess of 18,000 aircraft).

 

The RAF gained extra B-24s when they took delivery of an order destined originally for France. Consolidated termed the B-24 aircraft destined for Britain 'LB-30As', as they had been modified to meet British MoD and RAF requirements. The RAF assigned the name Liberator to their new bombers (a name adopted later by the USAAF).

However, since the P&W engines of these Liberators had had their superchargers removed before delivery to the RAF, and since they lacked the self-sealing fuel tanks fitted to the US B-24s, they were found to be unsuitable for use in the European theatre. Thus, initially, the RAF Liberators were assigned to B.O.A.C., and later to RAF Ferry Command, for transport purposes.

A number of Liberators were allocated to RAF Coastal Command. Coastal Command first operated these aircraft in 1941, using them against the U-boats. Later, RAF bomber squadrons also used Liberators in the Middle East and Far East.

Some Liberators--although not the one featured here--were assigned to RAF Ferry Command, based at RAF Ayr in Scotland. Their responsibility was to act as transports, and to ferry flight crews across the North Atlantic so that these aircrew could fly newly-built aircraft back to the UK.

 


 

BELOW: Shown here is a similar RAF Consolidated Liberator (AM262). After the war, AM262 and other Liberators were registered to BOAC for civilian use.

 

Liberator AM262 

 

Photo: Source unknown

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

This aircraft flew into a hill in cloud, at Drigmorn Hill near Millfore, Kirkcudbright on September 14, 1942. No other details are available at the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

The eight crew members who died in this accident were:

Please click on the hyperlinked names above for burial / memorial details.

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

Researcher's Notes (1970s) [From John Martindale's log].

 

    Aircraft History and Wreckage Description-

     

  • 471749
  •  

  • Construction number 122
  •  

  • RAF LB-30 Liberator II

 

  • Half mile south west of Millfore.
  •  

  • Wreckage is well-scattered after hitting the rock face. Wing tip, and part of the tail unit is at the bottom of the scree. Small parts are in the scree, with main parts to the south of the scree.
  •  

  • Part of the US ARMY visible under the wing, in blue on pale blue under wing. Green / brown / black camo. Part found with “LB-30 No 122”.

 

  • Delivered to 45 Group at Montreal Dorval 22/04/42.
  •  

  • Taken on charge SAL clearance and modification centre, Prestwick 20/05/42.
  •  

  • Taken on charge 1653 Flight 02/09/42.
  •  

  • W/O CAT E 14/09/42.
  •  

  • Based at RAF Burn.

 


 

 

Earlier Photos

 

 

BELOW: Skinning and other parts of the airframe from Liberator AL624 that crashed at Drigmorn Hill in 1942.

 

Skinning and other parts of the airframe from Liberator AL624.

 

Photo: © 2015 via John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: One of the larger wreckage sections from the aircraft.

 

One of the larger wreckage sections from the aircraft.

 

Photo: © 2015 via John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Collection of wreckage parts.

 

Collection of wreckage parts.

 

Photo: © 2015 via John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Group with larger wreckage section.

 

Part of the aircraft's code letters can be seen on this wreckage.

 

Part of the aircraft's code letters can be seen on this wreckage.

 

Photo: © 2015 via John Martindale

 


 

 

Later Photos

 

 

BELOW: Some fragmented wreckage from the Liberator LB-30A, lying in the foreground and just below the broken rock on the right.

 

Some fragmented wreckage from the Liberator LB-30A

 

Photo: © 1995-2011 Alan Leishman

 


 

BELOW: Skinning from Liberator AL624.

 

David Reid of Dumfries Aviation Museum is examining this section.

 

part of a wing from Liberator AL624

 

Photo: © 1995-2011 Alan Leishman

 


 

BELOW: Some of the camouflage and part of the letter 'Y' can be seen  on this section of the aircraft.

 

Part of the letter 'Y' on the wing of the aircraft

 

Photo: © 1995-2011 Alan Leishman

 

 


 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

Accident Date: 14 Sep 1942

 

Accident Site:

Drigmorn Hill (545m)

 

Region: Dumfries and Galloway

 

Nearest town or village: 

Newton Stewart

 

Nearest large towns:

Newton Stewart (SW) (A714)

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Some  wreckage remains at the crash site.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

Registration or Serial: AL624

 

Operator: RAF (1653 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU))

 

Operating Station: RAF Burn

 

Station Location: Burn near Selby, North Yorkshire, England.

 

Current Station Status:

Closed for military operations in 1945. Most buildings dismantled. Remaining runway area now used by Burn Gliding Club.

 

Current Airfield Name: Burn Airfield

 


 

Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields

 

 

 

 

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