WW2 HISTORY Qantas B-24 turrets

When, spurred by Charles Lindbergh, the US Army Air Forces wanted to boost the fi repower of its B-24D Liberators operating in the south-west Pacifi c, it turned to Australian airline Qantas and a facility in Queensland that became a legend in its own right

A busy tarmac scene outside the Qantas igloo hangar at Archerfi eld in late July 1943. The centre aircraft is B-24D 42-40970 The Shaped Up Kid from the 90th BG.At right is 42-40970 Little Eve from the 380th BG, which was transferred to the 90th and renamed Asterperious Special.

Charles Lindbergh was struggling to stay awake as the sun rose, reminding him of his epic 1927 flight from New York to Paris.At least this time he could stop and get out of his Mercury sedan beside the highway west of Cleveland, Ohio to run short distances and flght off his overwhelming desire for sleep. Since leaving his house on Martha’s Vineyard at 05.00hrs the previous day, he had driven west for 24 hours, stopping only for fuel and sandwiches. After a journey of 968 miles Lindbergh reached his destination by mid-morning on 2 April 1942 in time to take up a role as production technical consultant at Henry Ford’s vast new B-24 Liberator factory at Willow Run, Michigan.

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