B-24 Liberator: Now Thats-a Big-a Bird!

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zackiedawg
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B-24 Liberator: Now Thats-a Big-a Bird!
9 months ago

So I'm out birding last weekend in my usual wetlands location, when I hear an unusual, constant bird call - a low thrumming, very deep and continuous. In the distance, I see a very large, unusual bird bearing down on me...quite a straight flight pattern, flying fairly low. She was mostly olive green in color, with some highlights of yellow in the face and bits of red on the wings and tail...and some fine white patterns along the belly and sides. I was of course only equipped with my A580 & Minolta 300mm F4 + 1.4X TC, and she was quite large and quite close, so I was worried I wouldn't fit her in my frame. I caught her as she banked away just as she approached me:

The B-24 Liberator - Witchcraft

And got one more parting shot as she streaked away to the east towards the ocean:

B-24 Liberator - Witchcraft

Quite an unusual bird! Here's a little background about her:

America's only flying B-24J continues soaring through its native skies as part of the annual Wings of Freedom Tour with its sister ship, the B-17 Flying Fortress. A product of a multi-million dollar restoration, the B-24 stands testiment to the strength of the 1940's engineering that built it and helped it survive through many years of hardship.

A living history museum seen at over 120 cities per year, the B-24 brings memories for the many who flew others like it during WWII. For a younger generation, it brings enlightenment--a glimpse of the conditions in which it served, and an appreciation for the freedom we all share because of its role in the Second World War.

And a little info on the 'Witchcraft' paint scheme (she's not the original 'witchcraft', but painted in honor of her):

Now, it’s time to honor the 8th Air Force and all who served in England and in the ETO. We have selected “WITCHCRAFT”, a B-24 assigned to the 467BG, 790BS that compiled an amazing record of 130 combat missions. WITCHCRAFT is an olive drab aircraft, with red and white nose bowls, red and white rudders, 130 bomb markings and a cartoonish witch flying a machine gun as nose art. All the names of our Dedicated Crew, Lead Crew, Plane Sponsors and DFC Members will be proudly displayed on the co-pilot’s side of the aircraft. Honor Crew and aircraft names will continue to be on the bomb bay doors.

Comments, questions, critique welcomed...the shots were obviously NOT planned in any way - this flew directly over the wetlands, even stirring a few of the birds with its deep droning engines. Quite a neat thing to see though! I knew the planes were visiting my hometown airport that weekend, in Boca Raton, but didn't have the time or drive to go get tickets to see them...I was lucky that the plane came to me instead!

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Justin
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