B-24s Wonders of WWll By: Nolan Weimer
The B-24 It had a range of 2,850 miles. Wingspan - 110 feetLength - 67 feet 2 inchesHeight - 18 feetPropellers - 11 feet 6 inches in diameterIt could fly 32,500 feet high The B-24 had a better bombing target accuracy than the B-17. It could take off faster from a shorter distance because it was the first heavy bomber that used tricycle landing gear. B-24s were flown by every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and several foreign countries. The B-24s dropped 625,000 tons of bombs and destroyed more than 4,000 enemy planes. They were the only Allied plane used in every combat theatre in WWII including Asia, India, Europe and the Pacific.
Arsenal of Democracy Fireside Chat. White House, Washington, D.C.December 29, 1940 We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were we at war.--President Franklin Roosevelt
Arsenal of Democracy Roosevelt tells the nation about the importance of the Lend-Lease. "Our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves.“ I recommend that we make it possible for those nations to continue to obtain war materials in the United States, fitting their orders into our own program. Nearly all their material would, if the time ever came, be useful for our own defense." Churchill pleaded, "Give us the tools and we'll finish the job."
The Lend-Lease Act The Lend-Lease Act was a diplomatic act that allowed the United States to supply other countries like Britain with war materials including B-24s.
Willow Run Ford’s Willow Run factory was the largest producer of B-24s during WWII. Willow Run made 47% of all B-24s constructed for the war. They could make a B-24 each hour. It was the first airplane to be mass produced. 8,685 B-24s were made in total at Willow Run.
Ploesti They were bombing the oil fields in Romania to damage the power of the Axis. They were bombing the oil fields in Romania to damage the power of the Axis. 310 aircrewmen were killed. It became known as Black Sunday. Targets included Oil Refineries, Marshalling Yards & Air Domes.
Battle of the Atlantic The United States helped allied countries win The Battle of the Atlantic through the Lend-Lease Act which provided them with B-24 Liberators. 50,000 British seamen died.30,000 out of 39,000 u-boat men died (U-boat service highest casualty rate of all German warfare forces, 72.8% of crews died).35,00 American, Canadian, or other Allied seamen died. 650 u-boats sunk.2,900 ships sunk by u-boats.14 million tonnage sunk by u-boats.
Battle of the Atlantic The Lend-Lease Act allowed war materials to be supplied by the United States to allied countries such as Britain to help fight the war against the axis. Many B-24s were supplied to the Royal Air Force who used them to defeat the U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic. The B-24s closed the air gap in the Atlantic and turned the tide of the war in favor of the Allies. What if B-24s were not used by the RAF in the Battle of the Atlantic? More merchant ships would have been sunk. The allies would have lost The Battle of the Atlantic and possibly the war. Britain could have surrendered because they didn't have the materials to fight. We wouldn't have closed the air gap.
Bomber Veterans I meet some veterans at air shows and they can fill out a form and give them my card. On my website, I have a page that people can put information about a veteran who they know and I would look up information about him/her and then put the veteran on my tribute page. I interview veterans because I like to learn more about WWII and hear what it was like to fly on the bombers and pay tribute to great heroes of WWII.
Veterans who I interviewed Major Robert W. Sternfels He was the pilot of a B-24 named the Sandman. His plane is in a picture flying over Ploesti through black smoke from bombing the oil refineries.He wrote a book called Burning Hitler's Black Gold.He was awarded The Silver Star. He called me "A Real B-24 Guy" and I got that put on a dogtag. He even wrote it in the book he sent to me.
Veterans who I interviewed Technical Sergeant James H. Walker He was the Flight Engineer and Waist Gunner on the TARFU of the 26th bomb squadron of the 11th bomb group. He is the last living survivor of the TARFU crew.
Veterans who I interviewed 1st Lieutenant Robert W. Engelbert He completed 35 missions as a pilot on a B-24 called Plum Lake for the 456th.He received a Silver Star for his actions over Austria on February 7, 1945.
Some Veterans who I met At air shows in Indianapolis, Waterford & Willow Run
The Witchcraft 1st Lieutenant Harry B. Girdler He was a navigator on TARFU which was in the 26th bomb squadron of the 11th bomb group. This group was part of the 7th air force. His son, Robert Girdler, helped me by sharing Information and photographs of his dad and crew. He arranged for me to fly on the Witchcraft which is one of two flying B-24s around today.
The Witchcraft Riding on the Collings Foundation's B-24 "Witchcraft" - August 6, 2010 I got to fly on the B-24 from Indianapolis to Willow Run.
My Websitewww.WondersofWWII.com If you move your curser over the page “more” a bar will come down, click on “Battle of the Atlantic” and you will find a link to my website I did last year. Another one of my websites is “Willow Run and the Ford Motor Company which you need use a search engine to find.
History Day. What it is. History Day is a competition that encourages students in 4-12th grade to learn about history. There is a theme every year and is different. You want to have a lot of primary sources in History Day.
History Day 2010 The theme for this year was: Innovation in History: Impact and Change.
History Day 2011 1st Place Michigan History Day - Youth Division Individual WebsiteApril 2011Grand Valley State University Special AwardMichigan History Day - Best Use of Primary Sources in Youth DivisionApril 2011Grand Valley State University The theme for this year was: Debate & Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, and Consequences.
In the news I met Darlene Imus who is the librarian at the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run. She wrote an article about me in “Hangar Happenings”. She also sponsored me as a junior member. I met her at various occasions like the polishing party.
In the news Steven Puhl who is the Willow run historian and gave me many things like B-24 models, books, and a copy of the blue prints for Willow Run an a B-24.