Bridging The Gap - Consolidated Liberator Mk.VI
RAF Coastal Command Painting Art Print– Consolidated Liberator of 220 Squadron
Half a generation further on in development terms to its more famous stablemate, the B-17, Consolidated’s B-24 Liberator went on to become the USA’s most produced aircraft of WWII. Not only this but it did magnificent work all over the world and served in numerous allied nations air force’s. One of its most important contributions was in the battle of the Atlantic where the aircraft was able to close the so-called “Atlantic Gap”, the area where U-Boats could operate without threat from aerial attack. The first British Liberators arrived in March 1941 and were initially used by BOAC and RAF Ferry Command but the first Coastal Command units took charge of the aircraft in mid 1941. Early Mk.I aircraft could be up-armed with belly packs containing 20mm cannons and later aircraft would combine depth charges, cannon, ASV radar and 60lb rockets to devastating effect.
It can be said, with some justification, that without the Liberator the Battle of the Atlantic could easily have been lost.
In Charles J. Thompson’s aviation art picture a British Consolidated Liberator Mk.VI of 220 squadron, RAF Coastal Command flies over a convoy while “Bridging The Gap”