Reply to post

B-17 & B-24 What's the difference?

Author
Evan
Group Member
  • Total Posts : 248
  • Reward points : 5334
  • Joined: 2006/07/08 08:52:54
  • Location: Norwich, England
  • Status: offline
2009/02/27 03:55:33 (permalink)
0

B-17 & B-24 What's the difference?

Hi all,

I wonder if someone could clarify any of the following?

  • Did Fortresses and Liberators use the same ordnance? Same types of bombs? Did they look the same?
  • I take it that a B17 crew member dressed in combat gear would look the same as a B24 crew member in combat gear?
Were there any other visual differences in men or equipment besides the aeroplanes themselves?

Cheers,
Evan

15 Replies Related Threads

    jpeters140
    Moderator
    • Total Posts : 7376
    • Reward points : 20493
    • Joined: 2002/01/02 17:37:45
    • Location: Columbus, Indiana
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 06:07:26 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Evan....I  will try to answer this.  Yes, the ordnance WAS the same. And the crewmen wore the same combat gear,,,including the Medium bombers as well....the main difference was that the heavies (B-17 and B-24) had oxygen systems for high altitudes and the Mediums did not, as thier altutudes were seldom more than 12,000 ft.

    There WAS a difference in carrying British bombs , only because the LUGS  welded onto the bomb casings on a British bomb were located slightly further apart. This necessitated a DIFFERENT bomb shackle to accomodate the spacing.

    Any differences between the B-17 and B-24 crewmen was a result of the supply line, so that some crews had to use the existing equipment and some  were equipped with the newer equipment, due to a lag in supply....it takes time to get the new equipment into the supply lines.

    I think the replacement crews had the latest equipment, but that would be an ongoing item as the war progressed.....it was the same with the aircraft....both the personal equipment and aircraft proceeded to evolve, as the war continued.
     
    Even parts between the two aircraft were the same....example...the wheels, and brakes on both the B-17 and B-24 were the same, and the propellors on both aircraft were exactly the same....one of the reasons for the success of the American forces was that many of the parts were the same.
    (Even between the Air Force and the U.S.Navy)....another example is the main wheel on the B-25 and the PBY.  Another instance is the aircraft instruments....there were only TWO types in both the Army Air Forces and the Navy....one was the coating on the dial....one would fluroesce by a small lamp...the other was self illuminating,  radium coated for night fighter use...even then the instruments were completely interchangeable.
     
    I could go further, but I think you get the idea.

    Jim :-)

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
    WillowRun
    Moderator
    • Total Posts : 2044
    • Reward points : 20147
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 08:58:56 (permalink)
    0
    Spevsy

    Hi all,

    I wonder if someone could clarify any of the following?

    • Did Fortresses and Liberators use the same ordnance? Same types of bombs? Did they look the same?
    • I take it that a B17 crew member dressed in combat gear would look the same as a B24 crew member in combat gear?
    Were there any other visual differences in men or equipment besides the aeroplanes themselves?

    Cheers,
    Evan

    Evan,  Good morning and a good post!  Two observations....  First,I've attached a reference "link" to the B-24 versus B-17 Thread in this same sub-forum.  Your ordnance question was not one that came up there (other than types and total payload weight), so I found this interesting along with Jim Peter's additions about the Lancaster and medium bombers.   Secondly, I have not reviewed the sub-forum: "the Gear" to see if this was ever discussed/asked.  I guess, like many others who are not AAF Vets, that  a basic assumption was that "all gear was the same."  Not the best way to proceed!  There have been, however, many Threads on "types" of gear worn, their differences and their histories.  Hope to find more answers as this Thread grows.  http://forum.armyairforces.com/B24-versus-B17-m123916.aspx

     
    Best Regards!
    Steven P. Puhl
    Ford Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant (FO) Historian
    MODERATOR: http://www.armyairforces.com/
    Life Member: Yankee Air Museum
    Member: 8TH AF Historical Society
    Member: 2ND Air Division Historical Society 
     
    Al Blue
    Plank owner
    • Total Posts : 562
    • Reward points : 4959
    • Joined: 2002/01/02 19:23:04
    • Location: PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 10:48:53 (permalink)
    0
    Evan – Both the B-17 and the B-24 carried the same ordnance. The only difference was that the B-24, with two bomb bays instead of one, could carry more of it.
     
    Although they dressed alike, you could tell the crews apart. The B-17 guys always wore a smug smile because they had been told since birth that the B-17 was the best bomber in the world,  while the B-24 guys always wore a serious look because they were determined to prove the B-17 types were wrong. This difference continues today.
     
    With tongue firmly in cheek,
    Al Blue

    Clovisman
    Squadron Member
    • Total Posts : 72
    • Reward points : 1683
    • Joined: 2008/01/25 11:21:43
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 12:30:36 (permalink)
    0
    Or the B24 Guys knew they DIDNT have to prove it!

    Thomas J. Loebel, PhD
    Son of 1st Lt. Clarence J. Loebel
    Lead Navigator B-24
    459th BG 757th BS
    12/44 - 4/45
    31 missions
    Hochie
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 130
    • Reward points : 10099
    • Joined: 2005/08/19 13:09:44
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 13:03:03 (permalink)
    0
    Mr Peters,
        Regarding the statement that the combat gear was the same for the heavies and the mediums -- am I correct that standard equipment for the heavies was an electrically-heated suit?  And I have never run across that being available in the mediums, at least with the B-26 that my father flew in.  I recall a conversation with a radioman who also fired the waist guns (both of them) on a B-26.  He said that at takeoff, he had on every piece of clothing that he owned (possibly somewhat of an exageration), and as they engaged in combat, he would strip clothes away due to the adrenalin flow, and would end up with only a t-shirt on up top.  Of course, since they flew between 10,000 and 12,000 ft., it wasn't nearly as cold there, only -30F or so!

    Don Hoch, son of 1st Lt. Sterling P. Hoch (397BG/596BS)
    jpeters140
    Moderator
    • Total Posts : 7376
    • Reward points : 20493
    • Joined: 2002/01/02 17:37:45
    • Location: Columbus, Indiana
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 14:00:17 (permalink)
    0
    Don...Perhaps I should not  have included the  Mediums. I apologize.

    I WAS referring to the B-17 and B-24...Did not the Mediums have flak jackets and the modified steel  helmet to wear over the target ? The reason I say modified  steel helmet, is that there were ear flaps added to the steel helmet to be able to also wear the standard flight helmet with the earphones.

    Early in the war. I think the aircrew clothing  on both the heavies and mediums was similar....The elecrtically heated suit was late in the war....early clothing was the sheepskin jackets and pants...and with the open waist windows of the heavies at down to -60F, along with the air blast,  there was a lot of frostbite....the heating of the aircraft cockpit was never adequate....on any aircraft....I have seen hoar frost covering the cockpit side windows with only the aircraft windshields clear.
     
    Also, the electrically heated suit had it's moments.....one never know whether a glove or a shoe warmer, would not heat, thus adding to the frostbite problem, and in addition, flak or cannon fire would also cause a problem. One never knew whether a portion of a suit would short  out...sometimes in the crotch, sometimes in an arm or leg

    I  never heard of any heavy bomber crewman being able to strip down to a T-shirt, at altitudes of some 24,000 to 30,000 ft. 

    Jim :-) 

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
    jpeters140
    Moderator
    • Total Posts : 7376
    • Reward points : 20493
    • Joined: 2002/01/02 17:37:45
    • Location: Columbus, Indiana
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 14:10:45 (permalink)
    0
    Al...In Italy...they COULD carry more, but didn't...the bomb loads were identical...I cannot say about the 8th AAF...someone who flew in the 8th will have to answer.

    Jim :-)

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
    Nextgen
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 246
    • Reward points : 3081
    • Joined: 2007/04/21 00:25:28
    • Location: Texas
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 20:24:59 (permalink)
    0
    One of the 3rd AD groups that transitioned from B-24s to B-17s in mid-’44 learned that the hydraulic fluid form a B-24 was definitely not compatible with a 17 as it ate all of the seals out. Fortunately the only hydraulics on the 17 were the breaks and cowl flaps, so the aircraft could be repaired fairly easily. If there was anything that I would have thought would be compatible besides the gasoline, it would be the hydraulic fluid, but apparently that was not the case.
    jhor9
    B17 Jock
    • Total Posts : 1971
    • Reward points : 4823
    • Joined: 2002/05/03 09:42:18
    • Location: boca raton, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 20:52:28 (permalink)
    0
    Clovisman

    Or the B24 Guys knew they DIDNT have to prove it!


    I still say that I loved seeing B24's with us on missions. They were better escorts then P47's or P 38's

    Jules Horowitz, B-17 pilot, 99th BG, 50 missions/sorties
    My tour was from 7/19/43-2/13/44
    jpeters140
    Moderator
    • Total Posts : 7376
    • Reward points : 20493
    • Joined: 2002/01/02 17:37:45
    • Location: Columbus, Indiana
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 21:14:47 (permalink)
    0
    Nextgen...The statement that the hydraulic fluid was not the same, is confusing to me.... it was the same....AN-VV-O-5606.Red Hydraulic Fluid.
    Someone is in error. The expander tube brakes were used in WW II and the same wheels and brakes were used on the B-17,B-24, and B-29.
    Also, the first two models of the B-52 used the same expander tubes, until a B-52B was taxi-ing down a 2 1/2 mile axiway and the expander tube brakes burned out...that is when the change to the disc brakes was made.

    Jim :-)

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
    WillowRun
    Moderator
    • Total Posts : 2044
    • Reward points : 20147
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 21:20:22 (permalink)
    0
    Jules,  Sounds vaguely familiar to one of your responses on my B-24 versus B-17 Thread!  One of my dear friends once made the analogy that "B-17 boys liked the Libs in a stream, sorta like using "chum" to bait the fish (Germans)."  Now I don't quite see it that way!  Hope you are doing well!

     
    Best Regards!
    Steven P. Puhl
    Ford Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant (FO) Historian
    MODERATOR: http://www.armyairforces.com/
    Life Member: Yankee Air Museum
    Member: 8TH AF Historical Society
    Member: 2ND Air Division Historical Society 
     
    WillowRun
    Moderator
    • Total Posts : 2044
    • Reward points : 20147
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 21:27:12 (permalink)
    0
    Al Blue


     The B-17 guys always wore a smug smile because they had been told since birth that the B-17 was the best bomber in the world,  while the B-24 guys always wore a serious look because they were determined to prove the B-17 types were wrong. This difference continues today.
     
    With tongue firmly in cheek,
    Al Blue


     
    Al,  Cleverly said (understood, with tongue in cheek)!

     

     
    Best Regards!
    Steven P. Puhl
    Ford Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant (FO) Historian
    MODERATOR: http://www.armyairforces.com/
    Life Member: Yankee Air Museum
    Member: 8TH AF Historical Society
    Member: 2ND Air Division Historical Society 
     
    Clovisman
    Squadron Member
    • Total Posts : 72
    • Reward points : 1683
    • Joined: 2008/01/25 11:21:43
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/27 22:33:36 (permalink)
    0
    Jules- Also said with "tongue in cheek!" Dad says he always preferred as much company  as possible. That way he didnt feel like the only target! Cheers!

    Thomas J. Loebel, PhD
    Son of 1st Lt. Clarence J. Loebel
    Lead Navigator B-24
    459th BG 757th BS
    12/44 - 4/45
    31 missions
    rhdodd
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 87
    • Reward points : 4353
    • Joined: 2005/01/16 14:24:28
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/28 08:40:25 (permalink)
    0
    Jules, I expected you to post to this!
    I still loved the "big ass 2-4"
    Regards, Bob Dodd 
    l
    billrunnels
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1475
    • Reward points : 9108
    • Joined: 2003/01/31 09:01:06
    • Location: Minnesota
    • Status: offline
    Re:B-17 & B-24 What's the difference? 2009/02/28 11:52:45 (permalink)
    0
    WillowRun

    Jules,  Sounds vaguely familiar to one of your responses on my B-24 versus B-17 Thread!  One of my dear friends once made the analogy that "B-17 boys liked the Libs in a stream, sorta like using "chum" to bait the fish (Germans)."  Now I don't quite see it that way!  Hope you are doing well!


    What Jules said is a fact.  We were always glad to see the B-24s in the bomber stream !

    Bill Runnels
    Bombardier(B-17)
    8TH Air Force
    HELL'S ANGELS
    303RDBG, 360THBS
    http://www.303rdbg.com/runnels-memories.html
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.0