Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer Saga  (five photos)

The PB4Y-2 was similar in appearance to the B-24N with the large single tail. However, modifications required by the Navy for a patrol bomber resulted in a larger, much different aircraft.  The most notable  difference from the 'standard' B-24 was the new tail section and armament.  The Navy used an ERCO nose turret and waist turrets. Another difference was that the engine cowlings were turned 90 degrees from what the B-24 cowlings and the engines were not turbocharged.  The reason for this was that Navy patrol bombers spent most of their time at low altitudes and did not need the turbocharging. The fuselage was also lengthened. This PB4Y is in a well weathered tri-color scheme of dark navy blue, medium blue and white.

These photos are a series taken near Singapore in 1945. The land directly under the aircraft is the southern tip of Malaya (now Malaysia), with Singapore in the center and left background and the Japanese airstrip at Tebrau under the tail of the plane. Thanks to Ian Quinn for specific locale information.  Bill Stone in an e-mail of 30 May 2001 adds "The JAAF field later became an RAOC vehicle depot (221 Vehicle Bn, RAOC) and I was stationed there in 1949.    Our barracks were at Majeedi, which can be seen directly below the tail turret.    These were pre-war installations built by the Sultan of Johore for his State Military Forces. Johore Bahru is on the shore line beyond and the Johore/Singapore Causeway is to the right out of the picture."

The aircraft is PB4Y-2 BuNo 59563. In the other photos of this plane, it is shown afire after being hit by either anti-aircraft fire or a Japanese fighter that will be barely visible in the last photo.   Notice the wing of the photo plane.  From the engine configuration, the photo plane was a PB4Y-1, an aircraft very much like a B-24J. Here is the series of photos.

 ^ Flying along: everything seems OK. Note the JAAF airfield below the tail.

 ^ Fire has erupted around the #3 engine. Probably a hit to the fuel tank. There is no indication of AA fire typical of what was seen over Europe. The aircraft is losing altitude.

 ^ As the fire consumes more and more of the airframe, the aircraft continues to lose altitude.  The accompanying PB4Y-1 holds station with its stricken comrade.

^ As the Privateer continues down to its eventual fate, onto the frame appears the probable reason for all its woes.  

  <  Enlarged as much as I can, is one of the the attacking Ki-43 Oscars.


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