Monday, January 27, 2020

B-24D (42-40722) ‘The Little Gramper' Lead Assembly Ship in the 491st Bomb Group Originally served with the 389th Bomb Group.


  1. Novelty paint job? Or was it like that zebra-striping on naval vessels which was supposed to make it harder to estimate distance?

    1. Assembly ships were the first planes in the air that would orbit in the assembly areas for the rest of the planes in the bomb group to form up on before joining the bomber stream heading out to Germany.

  2. Maybe the color scheme was a bit of whimsy to make the Germans die laughing?

  3. Assembly ships did not join the other bombers on their missions. They just circled for hours while other bombers joined up on them. Each assembly plane was stripped of its armaments and would have been unable to defend itself or drop bombs. They were also given unique liveries as shown here.
    - Goetz

  4. 42-40722 Declared war weary and became formation ship for 491st BG.
    Replaced by 44-40165. Condemned May 31, 1945.

  5. "Assembly ships did not join the other bombers on their missions." It's a good thing, the enemy would have no difficulty spotting it either.

    Paul L. Quandt

  6. Learn something new now and then...Thanks guys!..
    I wonder if the assembly ship was crewed by heroes who had enough missions to qualify to head home?