380th Bomb Group Association

 NEWSLETTER #3 -- June 2000


Colin Grey, Restoration Coordinator for the restoration of the B-24M being carried out in Australia, has supplied the following pictures showing the attachment of the wing to the fuselage and some of the details of the massive re-engineering and duplication from scratch that they had to do in carrying out the work. He cautions that the restoration will not be complete internally at the time of roll-out on August 15, 2000. His words are as follows:

"We would have preferred to have a complete aeroplane at the time of dedication. However, the passage of time and the age of the B-24 Veterans has indicated we should choose an earlier date. So it was decided that although the restoration will have 18 months to 2 years to run, it would be prudent to have the dedication at our earliest opportunity. To that end the 15th of August, 2000 (the 55th Anniversary of victory in the Pacific War) has been chosen. On behalf of our Committee of Management, and the members of the "FUND" we would like to wish you all the best with your 60th celebrations and I hope to be able to meet you in Melbourne on August 15th, 2000."

Fuselage with wing mainplane attached. After some 4 years of work the wing and fuselage were mated for the first time on October 13, 1999.

The restored center wing section has been reunited with the mostly restored fuselage of the A72-176.

When recovered, the fuselage had a significant amount of leaf litter laying in the lower part of the fuselage; consequently, the lower 25% of the fuselage is over it's full length is being replaced. All floor and bulkhead frames need to be replaced below the mid-line.

The rear bomb bay bulkhead, bomb racks and catwalk. All have been reverse engineered using the originals as patterns.

New floor and fuselage structure for the ball turret area. When recovered, virtually all of this structure was missing from the fuselage; it has been reverse engineered from the remaining stubs and photographs.

The pictures presented here are all from Colin Grey courtesy of Briefing, the quarterly of the B-24 Liberator Club, George Walsh, Editor; and of Classic Wings Downunder, based in New Zealand, and edited by Graham Orphan.

The invitation and information about the B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Fund Dedication and Roll Out, to be held on 15 August 2000, in Werribee, Victoria, Australia, can be found in our previous issue, Newsletter #1, dated December 1999. [Click here to go there]

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