The B-24 Liberator When America Was Great

Big Red Car here.  The Boss was up early this morning and out for a swim.  He likes to swim very early in the morning.  I think the Old Boy is skinny dipping but who really knows?

Something I’ve been wanting to share with you is the story of the American B-24 Liberator one of  the big bombers produced by the United States in response to the looming war.  Second World War, ya’ll.

You have to see this video to understand what a stupendous undertaking this was.  Here it is:

The Willow Run bomber assembly plant was the brainchild of Ford Motor Company and produced a B-24 Liberator every 55 minutes.  Yes, Old Sport, you read that correctly EVERY 55 MINUTES a new B-24 Liberator rolled off the assembly floor and into the sky to wage war against America’s enemies.

B-24 Liberator

The Liberator was considered a tough plane to fly at first but it could:

1.  carry a crew of ten men;

2.  drop 8,000 lbs of bombs;

3.  haul 5,000 rounds of machine gun ammo;

4.  fly 3,000 miles at 300 knots; and,

5.  it could change folks ways of thinking about things.

During the Second World War approximately 18,000 of these babies were produced with half of them from the Ford Willow Run plant.  The plant was opened six months before the Japs hit Pearl Harbor, so Henry Ford was on his game.

Our enemies never fathomed the depth of industrial might that America possessed.  We were the Arsenal of Liberty in those days.

Today we go around the world either apologizing or screwing things up.  We are the Arsenal of Bullshit.

Henry Ford

Most folks don’t know that Henry Ford went broke twice before he hit a good lick with the Ford Motor Company and many folks have no idea as to the contributions of the FMC to America’s defense efforts.

When this American entrepreneur was turned loose, he produced one B-24 Liberator every 55 minutes.

BTW, a Liberator had 1.225MM parts that all had to work correctly.  A Ford automobile had approximately 15K parts.

1,225,000 parts for a Liberator v 15,000 parts for a Ford automobile

 We have a lot of problems in America today that could be solved if American entrepreneurial talent and zeal were unleashed.  Once upon a time, it was essential to our freedom.  What do you say, Grasshopper — more entrepreneurial zeal and less bullshit?

Works for me.

Guess what?  American entrepreneurial zeal can solve our problems if we let it.  Get out of the way, ya’ll and turn America loose.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.

 

 

  • Amen on tough to fly. That was one of the pieces of information that I found fascinating in “Unbroken”. B-17 and B-25’s were more fun to fly. B-24’s were stodgy old horses. Going up to Oshkosh on August 2 to hopefully get a hop in a few planes. Pancho’s B-24 will be there I am sure. Here is a photo of the one we have at the National World War Two Museum: http://www.nnwwiim.org/images/usf-liberator-405×321.jpg This is a cutaway of the front cabin. You can go in and walk around. Although, it’s tight.

    • JLM

      .
      One of the most interesting things about these planes is that they were designed and prototyped in about 12 months. Really fast.

      The P-38 and P-51 were some of the best planes ever built and they were done in about 9 months.

      If they had had a bit more collaboration the final designs would have been a bit more flyable. In those days the answer was always to strap on more horsepower. Drag increases with the square of speed so getting faster was expensive as it relates to drag.

      BRC
      .

  • Whenever I read about such incredible people as Henry Ford I feel really really small!! And when I take into account that his achievements were made without most of the tools we’d use today for the task then I just can’t process it.

    BTW, how may parts does a BRC has?

    • JLM

      .
      The BRC has lost some of his parts like when the BRC was converted from points to an electronic ignition. Anyway, I think I have 14,654 parts not including the convertible top parts which keep coming off.

      BRC
      .

    • Dave W Baldwin

      I was so pleased with the roll out of the television series regarding the great ones ending with Ford. My hope is those shows will inspire. If you take the energy and pride those guys and all of their employees exherted matched with the tools we have today (and just around the corner), we can really do something.