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.

strawberry bitch B-24 that goes by that name at the Dayton, Ohio Air Force museum

DAYTON, Ohio -- Consolidated B-24D Liberator at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio — Consolidated B-24D Liberator at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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.512th Flying Skulls

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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