BEFORE AND AFTER IMAGES (#1 of 6)
Many of the collected images show B-24s at different times of their career; these pages present the changing fortunes of some of them
BA1 #5a BIG CHIEF being salvaged after it crashed at Nadzab on 24 April 1944. "We were assigned “Big Chief” (after Leaford Bearskin) on a mission from Nadzab to Hollandia. As we were about to reach lift-off, the left tire blew, causing the left gear to break and the plane to lurch to the left. The # 1 propeller snapped and came flying toward the rear of the aircraft and imbedded itself into the left rudder. With 8x1,000 lb. bombs on board, every crew member and many ground crew men got as far away as they could with utmost haste." [David Saporta]
BA1 #13a DOUBLE TROUBLE 06 February 1944: Takeoff was to the west at 23:05. On engine runup and takeoff all instruments read perfectly. Supercharger fire occurred after takeoff on #2 engine which was subsequently extinguished. When we had gained approximately 800 feet, the oil pressure on #1 engine dropped to about 60lbs. We turned back to the field and gave them a call stating that we would have to land. All the way back the oil pressure on #1 continued to drop slowly. We flew perpendicular across the runway and dropped our wheels making a right hand pattern to the west. At that point the nose wheel jammed on the nose wheel doors and we tried to free it on final approach. We then pulled up to go around. Upon advancing the throttles the oil pressure on #1 dropped low and we were forced to feather it and the supercharger fire on #2 started again. No 1 engine started on fire shortly after feathering even though the gas had been shut off. We then made a short pattern to the right still attempting to lower the nose wheel. Upon turning base leg we salvoed the bombs as near the river as possible. We pulled up the wheels and made a crash landing at approximately 23:17 hours. Alpha damage: complete wreck beyond repair.