Gotta love a Flying Skull redhead
Here we see a Consolidated B-24D Liberator heavy bomber, specifically #42-72843 “Strawberry Bitch” at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.
She was flown to the museum in May 1959 and they have an extensive gallery of photos of her here.
Strawberry Bitch is one of just eight surviving B-24Ds known to exist– and several of those are in wrecked condition overseas.
Established in the Middle East 31 October 1942, the 512th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), U.S. Army Air Force, was initially equipped with obsolete B-17C/D Flying Fortresses transferred from Tenth Air Force. These were replaced with Liberators in early 1943 and they became part of the Ninth Air Force.
Operating from bases in British Palestine, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the Flying Skulls attacked shipping in the Mediterranean and harbor installations in Libya, Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy to cut enemy supply lines to North Africa. Struck airdromes, marshalling yards, and other objectives in Sicily and Italy after the fall of Tunisia in May 1943.
Reassigned to Fifteenth Air Force in late 1943, and moved to southern Italy to bomb factories, oil refineries, oil storage facilities, airdromes, bridges, harbors, and other objectives.
Between Sept 1943 and June 1944, Strawberry Bitch flew 56 combat missions that are detailed here.
As for the “Flying Skulls,” they hung up their bomb sights in 1965 with the retirement of the B-47 Stratojet (after switching to them from B-29s) and were inactivated for three decades then came out of retirement in 1994 as the 512th Special Operations Squadron then the 512th Rescue Squadron (512 RQS). Now part of the 58th Special Operations Wing based at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, they operate HH-60G Pave Hawks on CSAR missions for bug eaters.