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  XB-24D "Liberty Belle" Serial Number 42-40686  
5th AF
43rd BG
63rd BS

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Lawrence Grimm c1944

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USAAF c1944

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USN c1945
Pilot  1st Lt. Laurence H. Grimm, O-762046 (survived)
Force Landed  October 30, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-85-CO Liberator 42-40686. Afterwards, converted to an XB-24D Liberator. This bomber was ferried via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Liberty Belle" with a female figure on the side of the cockpit. The bomber was officially written off on November 13, 1944.

Mission History
On October 30, 1944 took off piloted by 1st Lt. Laurence H. Grimm on a night bombing mission over Bacuit Bay on Palawan. Over the target area, spotted a Japanese task force of cruisers and destroyers and hit by anti-aircraft fire in one engine. Damaged, this B-24 turned eastward towardsLeyte and while enroute a second engien failed.

Nearing Tacloban Airfield, the area was under Japanese air attack and U. S. anti-aircraft guns were firing at them. This B-24 attempted a force landing with only two engines, but obstructions forced him to abort. During the second landing attempt, a white phosphorous bomb burst on the runway. He applied the breaks causing the nose wheel blew out. But, the bomber landed without injury to the crew. Afterwards, Grimm earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his actions this mission.

Afterwards, this B-24 was abandoned at Tacloban Airfield in a swampy area at the north-western end of the airfield. One of the tail fins was removed and propellers.

Gary Grimm (son)

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-85-CO Liberator 42-40686
"40686 in accident Nov 13, 1944"
Thanks to Gary Grimm for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


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