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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Aviary: 1943

Aviary: 1943

Aircraft assembly plant circa 1943, location and photographer unknown. Medium format safety negative, Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Not a complete waist

Definitely a waist gun position. The window is stowed - it folds up hinged at the top. the wind deflector forward of it is visible, but not open.

My workplace

I work in one of the three huge buildings that were used to build B-24s in San Diego. It's hard to tell for sure from the photo since things have changed so much over the years, but my guess is that this isn't the San Diego location, but it's similar.

Aircraft Plants

Tulsa's a possibility if it was a B-24. The aircraft was designed by Consolidated and manufactured at their plants in San Diego and Fort Worth. They were also built by North American in Dallas and Douglas in Tulsa. The biggest production facility was Ford's gigantic Willow Run plant which turned out 428 B-24s a month.


I believe I have seen this or a very similar photo atributed to a plant in Tulsa, OK

C-87 Transport differences re:B-24

External changes included the elimination of gun turrets and the bombardier’s plexiglass nose position, which was covered over; the addition of seven windows cut into each side of the fuselage and a large cargo door at the rear of the port side; and the elimination of bomb-bay doors. The C–87 carried a five-man crew—pilot, copilot, navigator, radio operator, and crew chief—along with twenty-five passengers or a cargo of twelve thousand pounds in certain conditions

Built at Consolidated in Fort Worth TX

...that is, if these are indeed C-87's. As for the fuselage trim difference between it and the B-24 Liberator, some of that was done after these planes were assembled on the basis of being made as B-24s. I believe my late brother in law flew on C-87s as a Weather Observer in the CBI theatre over the Hump. He was also active with B-25's there, but I'm not sure there was room for a Weather Observer on the Mitchells.


I'm not convinced that these are C-87's if only because the aircraft behind the tail of the aircraft in the foreground have tarps over a "bump" in the top of the fuselage which would indicate the top turret. Also, there were windows and a hatch in the side of the Liberator on either side of the air force insignia, the hatch serving as the opening for the side gunners. In the photos of the C-878 I've seen the windows are forward of the air force insignia and much lower than the middle of the star..

The Planes

My first guess was B-24's. But then noticed the windows and door at the rear. So they would seem to be C-87 transports, a variant of the B-24 Liberator bomber.

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