Unbroken - Louis Zamperini Story - B-24s IN COMBAT

B-24s IN COMBAT (Illustration) American History Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Biographies Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs World War II

The National Museum of the Air Force maintains this combat photo of B-24s in action over Europe: “Through flak and over the destruction created by preceding waves of bombers, these 15th Air Force B-24s leave Ploesti, Rumania, after one of the long series of attacks against the No. 1 oil target in Europe.”


B-24s, like other WWII planes, took the fight to the skies in both the Pacific and European theaters.  Photographs, from the U.S. National Archives, give us a glimpse at some of the aerial battle scenes.

  • Dropping bombs, from a higher altitude, creates a “close call” for planes below;
  • Tanks explode, on “Little Warrior,” as a nearby waist gunner photographs his friends;
  • Surviving “flak alley” once, a B-24 crew will soon be back in the same predicament;
  • Taking a direct flak hit, although it does not appear serious, leads to a non-survivable event for this B-24;
  • Landings did not always happen on smooth surfaces;
  • Crash landings didn’t always seal their fate, but this flak-damaged B-24 never flew again;
  • Bursting apart, in flames, this B-24 was lost one month before Hitler took his life (thereby ending the war in Europe).

Louie and his crew mates lost good friends as they - and their B-24s - tried to take back Japanese-held islands in the Pacific.  "Super Man," and its crew, faced their own potential disaster on the day the men flew their Liberator to Nauru Island.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2011

Updated Last Revision: Jun 21, 2017

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"B-24s IN COMBAT" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2011. Jan 27, 2020.
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