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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:26 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:01 am
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Location: Memphis, TN USA
I had never heard of the C-109 until today.

The C-109 was a transport/tanker version of the B-24 Liberator. Most of y'all who keep up with airplane history know that the C-87 was the transport version of the B-24 Liberator, so where does the C-109 come in?

The C-109 was never a factory product, as was the C-87, but rather was converted from B-24 bombers. It was was used to ferry aviation gas over the "Hump" to bases in China, there being no other tanker capable of carrying the amount of fuel necessary for the projected B-29 operations from Chinese bases. As it turned out, island bases were secured in the Pacific and the bombing from China never materialized, though the C-109s continued to ferry fuel.

And, a noted co-pilot on the C-109s was a cowboy named Gene Autry.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:04 pm 
Buckeye
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http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/we ... anker.html

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:14 pm 
Buckeye
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isn't that the plane that would crack in 1/2 behind the cockpit on landing?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:24 pm 
Hawkeye

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http://www.historyofwar.org/pictures_co ... C-109.html

Here's the conversion manual if you have a B24 laying around that you want to convert! ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:44 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:01 am
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Location: Memphis, TN USA
bobski wrote:
isn't that the plane that would crack in 1/2 behind the cockpit on landing?


Since I just learned of its existence today, I wouldn't know. But their record does not appear to bear that out as it seems they were very useful in flying over the "Hump."

And I believe Gene Autry did survive the War.

Bob Wright


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:45 am 
Hawkeye
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Looks to me like it was a factory product built at Willow Run buy Ford who built many 24s.

The conversion was designed by Consolidated, but Ford carried out the actual work. The first example, the XC-109, was converted from a B-24E in 1943. This was followed by 208 production aircraft, based on the B-24J/B-24L.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:34 pm 
Buckeye
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im starting to recall it wasn't landing as much as it was ditching. seems it had a habit of splitting in 2.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:35 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:01 am
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Location: Memphis, TN USA
bobski wrote:
im starting to recall it wasn't landing as much as it was ditching. seems it had a habit of splitting in 2.


From what I've read, there was little chance of a C-109 ditching, as they were used mostly overland in the China-Burma-India theater. As I said, I only learned of this aircraft last week.

I do know that battle damaged Liberators often were completely washed out when making crash landings back in England. I have seen photos of wrecked B-24s broken along a line of the top turret.

One of the reasons the 8th Air Force preferred the B-17 was that it was most often repairable after crash landings. Crash instructions included un-feathering the propellers of dead engines to minimize damage to engine mounts, allowing the prop blades to simply fold back around the engine cowling.

Because of its high mid-wing location, belly landing B-24s often tilted so that their wings dug into the ground, causing further damage.

Bob Wright


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