Liberator in Warsaw

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Captain
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Nov 9, 2005
Cracow
The Warsaw Uprising Museum is building a replica of the American Liberator B-24J bomber, which dropped supplies to the insurgents of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. The replica (wingspan – over 30 metres, fuselage – 20 metres) will stand in one of the exhibition halls as from 3rd May this year. The replica required permission from the US State Department as the Liberator is still listed as a combat aircraft.
When carrying its maximum weight, the Liberator weighed almost 30 tonnes. "If we visualise that in 1944 these machines descended to roof level over fighting Warsaw, we get an idea of their pilots' skills." – said Piotr Śliwowski, a historian at the Museum.

This is a world first regarding the machines reconstruction. The model is based on original design specifications (Radosław Sikorski, the Minister of Defence, gave the Museum microfilmed technical drawings of the machine and descriptions, in 2005), and it incorporates original parts from a Liberator shot down by a German fighter plane near Bochnia on the night of 14th-15th August 1944. That Liberator, flown by Capt. Zbigniew Szostak, was part of the Polish Squadron 1586 which flew from southern Italy to relieve Warsaw. Points of design detail in the replica were consulted with surviving airmen and mechanics of Squadron 1586.

Liberators became very popular and used on every World War II front. Primarily they served as bombers, but were also used for reconnaissance and transport missions, and as constituents of coastal defence units. Originally, they were built in five US production plants; over 19000 such machines were built during World War II.

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