B-24J Liberators of the 15th Air Force return from mission to Mühldorf, Germany to their base in Italy, Mar 19 1945. Note the island of Drvenik Veliki, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) below.

Caption   B-24J Liberators of the 15th Air Force return from mission to Mühldorf, Germany to their base in Italy, Mar 19 1945. Note the island of Drvenik Veliki, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) below. ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives via D. Sheley
More on...   
B-24 Liberator   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos on Same Day 19 Mar 1945
Photos at Same Place Drvenik Veliki, Yugoslavia
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 15 Jan 2013

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (2,063 by 1,578 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US National Archives, as of 21 Jul 2010:
The vast majority of the digital images in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) are in the public domain. Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. We would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For the few images that remain copyrighted, please read the instructions noted in the "Access Restrictions" field of each ARC record.... In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used.... Additionally, according to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Nov 2014 10:00:35 AM


Bomber, Maritime Patrol Bomber, Photo-Recon, Crew Trainer, VIP Aircraft and C-87 Transport, Fuel Tanker, 19,000 were built during World War II.
The B-24 was operated by the USAAF, RAF, RCAF, SAAF, Nationalist Chinese, U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.


Did you know that during WWII, the Australian Airline Qantas operated two-B-24s converted into transports along with the PBY Catalina seaplanes.


The Germans operated captured B-24s that were used by KG200 for tests, evaluation and dropping of agents. The USAAF operated the B-24 painted black and flew supply missions and dropped OSS agents into occupied Europe.
The Nationalist Chinese received 48 B-24s during WWII and operated them against both the Japanese and Chinese Communist, The Communist captured two B-24s and operated them until 1952


After WWII the USAAF had thousands of obsolete aircraft among them were the B-24s without a job,
thousands were sold as surplus and scrapped bombers that cost the American taxpayer $336,000
dollars, were sold for $13,750 dollars each.


During WWII the United States built 294,000 a/c
not counting aircraft that were rebuilt or assembled from spare parts. Over 150,000 aircraft declared obsolete did you know by 1944 plans were being organized to scrap America's wartime airpower even before WWII ended.
Aircraft were broken up and smelters were built to meltdown the aluminum and turn them into ingots. The complete job wasn't finished until 1948!


One scrap dealer bought 4,871 aircraft for the give away price of $1,838,798 dollars you gotta remember this was 1940s dollars, when you could really buy something with it.


Surviving B-24s continued to soldier on with the USAAF and later the USAF, US Navy, Coast Guard and Marines in various duties, as hacks, research and trainers. The last USAF B-24 was a EB-24M that was used for research, and was retired in 1956!


Survivors were bought and flown away from the bone yards employed as VIP transports, cargo
aircraft and other civilian jobs. Others were used in firefighting over the next 30 to 40 years until age grounded them and replaced with newer aircraft. Most B-24s are now in museums world wide, one is airworthy and flies at air shows across the country.
2. Zoran Petek says:
1 Feb 2015 04:20:41 AM

These B-24s belong to 15th AF 49th BW, probably 461st BG.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Oct 2016 02:30:13 PM


After Japan's surrender in August 1945, the 11th Air Force sent B-24's on photo-reconnaissance missions over Soviet-occupied Kuril Is.
from August to September 1945.


American built lend-lease supplied Bell P-63's were sent to intercept the American bombers, and forced them away...


Military secrets are the most fleeting, everyone wants to know what the other side is up to, be it a potential enemy or allied.

The USSR operated both the Bell P-39 and P-63 fighters in the Soviet far east, and occupied eastern Europe. Aircraft were later transferred to second-line training units, and maintenance schools, until being retired starting in 1950

Before Japan's surrender in August 1945 both the Imperial Army & Navy based aircraft, military equipment and troops on the Kuril Islands. It fell to Soviet invasion and occupation after WWII...
4. Anonymous says:
12 Apr 2021 07:46:08 PM

Great photo. My mother came the island Drvenik Veliki pictured. She was a teen during the war but on the mainland (displaced by both the Italians and Germans ) and would have seen the bomber fly over. She was actually in hospital when the coastline was bombed American bombers. She said that everything around her was hit except (intentionally) the hospital.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Drvenik Veliki, Yugoslavia
Lat/Long 43.4442, 16.1454
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