B 24 career after the end of WWII

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Staff Sergeant
Jan 17, 2011
In wiki:
"B-24 bombers were also extensively used in the Pacific area after the end of World War II to transport cargo and supplies during the rebuilding of Japan, China, and the Philippines."

I have no notice of B24 operations after the end of WWII, AFAIK. Certainly B24 was a difficult aeroplane both to fly and to service and from what I have generally read I had the impression that USAAF was eager to get rid of B24s as soon as possible after the end of WWII.

Reasons for that? Considering the numbers of B24 built during the war this seems to me a little bit strange.
sometimes you have to use what is at hand and they had planes and crews already in place....so might have been the most expedient choice until other aircraft could have been brought in.
The only B-24 I ever saw up close was a corporate conversion that was written off in a belly landing in Regina Sask. when I was a kid. Crawled thru it and snagged a screw clamp as a souvenir.
After the war ended, the British transferred the Lend Lease B24's they used in the CBI to India. As for US forces using B24's? They transported personnel on one way sorties back to the US. I have never heard of them being used extensively for inter island or theater transport duties.
The B-24 and B-17 and even the B-32 were obsolete by war's end.

The B-29 emerged as the modern-age bomber and the B-36 was in the works, soon to replace the B-29.

The B-24 served it's purpose, fulfilling the need to deliver a potent load to enemy targets during the war...when the war ended, it's role was finished and it was no longer needed.
B-24s may have been used for logistic purposes at the end of the war but when men and materal were stateside, they were scrapped in mass numbers.

Lots of bombers were used for logistics in the first few months after the war. But the US had by far the largest number of real transports and with the drastic reduction in the size of of the Armed forces in late 1945 and 1946 the need for using unconverted or minimally converted bombers as transports disappeared real quick. By Dec of 1947 (granted 2 years late) the War Assets Administration was announcing that remaining Curtiss C-46 transports (about 627 aircraft) would be sold for $5000 each! If they didn't need C-46, C-47 and C-54s in 1947 they sure didn't need the old bombers. They had built over 3100 C-46s, how many had crashed or been grounded by Sept 1945 I don't know or how many were kept as not being surplus to requirements after 1947 I don't know.

As far as using the the B-24s as combat aircraft goes.

From Wiki: "While the end of World War II caused production of the B-29 to be phased out, with the last example completed by Boeing's Renton factory on 28 May 1946, and with many aircraft sent for storage and ultimately scrapping as surplus to requirements". If you have more B-29s than you can man and use with the much reduced peacetime establishment why on earth would keep B-24s in service?
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The Navy/Coast Guard(?) did continue to use their versions for a number of years. Alan Griffith IIRC goes into the post war explanations in his book Consolidated Mess which I do not have with me right now.
Thanks for the replies.
Yes of course, if there are more planes for logistics than crews che choice is obvious.
But I was wondering why, for example, B17 was used until early fifties for specific purposes, of course bombing is absolutely out of the question, as in this case for resupplying a land rescue team by parachute in Arabia or to drop life boats.

US Air Force Air Sea Rescue in Saudi Arabia 1950-1951


"The aircraft of Flight 'D', 7th ARS. Two SB-17Gs, one with an A1 airborne droppable life boat attached, and the float-mounted H-SH helicopter. An almost daily sand storm is just developing."

Wasn't B24 more suitable for these tasks than B17?
I have the idea that USAAF or crews, or both hated B24 and tried to get rid of them as soon as possible. But by what reason?
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B-17 had several advantages, the airframe was actually stronger and would put up with more abuse. The B-17 was supposed to be steadier and easier to fly, they used to joke that you could tell B-24 pilots by the size of their arms.

Normally nose gear planes have a lower accident rate than tail draggers but the B-24 Nose gear had a few problems and with the large increase in gross weights it became a weak point. It wasn't quite as bad on bombing mission when both fuel and bombs were gone when landing but landing with 6-8,000lbs of cargo on board could sometimes push the nose gear to the breaking point on poor runways.

Some say the B-24 caught fire easier and smelled of fuel and hydraulic fluid in the fuselage.
Looking at the second B-17 in the photo with the dinghy underneath, there is quite a bit more ground clearance than a B-24 has.

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