Sun, Dec 03, 2006
"Diamond Lil" To Be Outfitted As Army Air Corps Bomber
Aero-News has learned the B-29/B-24 Squadron of the
Commemorative Air Force has begun restoring the CAF's
B-24/LB-30, AM-927, to its originally-intended B-24A bomber
Squadron members have done extensive research on the airplane's
history, and discovered that it was originally part of an order
B-24As for the United States Army Air Corps. However, the British
desperately needed a long-range bomber for use in coastal patrols
and for defense, and Consolidated received permission to divert 20
planes from the Army Air Corps order for the British. The CAF's
plane was one of those.
The decision to reconfigure "Diamond Lil" was made in early
October by the elected staff of the B-29/B-24 Squadron. Work began
October 31, 2006.
B-29/B-24 Squadron Crew Chief Gary Austin said crews began at
the front of the airplane, and are working their way back. The nose
has been removed and sent off for new glass. The wooden cabinets in
the cockpit have been removed to make way for the original
navigation station. All of the floorboards have been removed from
the bomb bay area so that bomb bay doors can be simulated.
"We simply don't have the time or facilities to install bomb
doors at this time," said Austin, "but it is being discussed for
The radio operator's floor has been lowered to its original
position, and the right-hand waist gunner's position has been
exposed. Work has started on raising the floor on the waist
The tunnel gun position has also been exposed. The structure was
already present, and Austin estimated that 95 percent of the
components for the tunnel gun position have been fabricated.
Work has also begun on fabricating the tail gun.
An official unveiling of the B-24 has been scheduled for May 12,
2007 during a Twin Tails Fly-In to be held at CAF Headquarters in
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