The first book in the Warbird Flightline series celebrates the Collings Foundation’s Witchcraft, the last flying exemplar of the B-24 Liberator bomber. Unlike other walk-around books, Witchcraft: B-24 Liberator not only gets into the weeds of aircraft systems and stations, but also soars aloft for a bird’s-eye view of the historical context in which the aircraft flew: a world on the brink of war, the desperate need for a long-range, heavy bomber, and just one American company capable of putting what became the world’s most advanced aircraft into production in just nine short months.
The legendary Liberator flew in every theater of the war, dropped more bombs than any other, and literally won the war in the Pacific, only to have its thunder stolen when the Boeing B-29 Superfortress was chosen to drop the atom bomb on Japan, thus ending the war and at the same time bringing the too-short lifespan of this unique and unsung hero to a close.
But the Liberator still stands as the most-produced aircraft in American military history, up to and including today. On tour 360 days a year, the airframe currently bears the livery of the legendary Witchcraft, which flew an astonishing 130 missions over northern Europe without a mishap or an abort. It stands as the last remaining flying B-24 bomber, enchanting tens of thousands of visitors to airports all across America who marvel at the mix of its ungainly looks but unmatched pedigree.
Kenny Kemp’s father flew Liberators in the Pacific, captaining missions from the Philippines to Japan. Deftly weaving veteran’s stories (including his father’s) and current volunteers together in 128 full-color pages, Kemp creates a thrilling tapestry not only of this remarkable aircraft but of the heroic men who flew them.
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