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Consolidated-Vultee PB4Y-2 Privateer

Consolidated-Vultee PB4Y-2 Privateer Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2005 Title Consolidated-Vultee PB4Y-2 Privateer
Author Alan C. Carey Publisher Schiffer Publishing
Published 2005 ISBN 0-7643-2166-8
Format 176 pages,softbound MSRP (USD) $29.95


If you're a fan of World War Two bombers, patrol aircraft, US Naval Aviation, French Aeronavale, or even contemporary fire bombers, here is a title sure to please all. This new release from Schiffer Publishing covers the PB4Y-2 Privateer, a long-range reconnaissance aircraft and anti-submarine warfare platform.

The US Navy acquired a number of B-24 Liberators from the Army Air Force, but realized it would be prohibitive to modify these aircraft to meet the needs of the Navy. While these B-24s were put to work, the Navy approached Consolidated-Vultee (what would become Convair) to redesign the Liberator to meet their requirements. While the resulting Privateer looks like a B-24, the aircraft is quite a bit different inside and out. Fuel capacity was increased. The Davis wing of the B-24 was retained, but the engines were changed resulting in the cowlings being rotated 90 degrees to put the carburetors top and bottom. The superchargers were also deleted as the aircraft would be operating at low altitudes.

A flight engineer's station was added to the rear of the cockpit, this alone stretched the fuselage seven feet. The aircraft was armed with 12 machine guns for self-protection and state of the art electronics to hunt surface ships and submarines. The most distinctive change from the B-24 was the adoption of a large single vertical stabilizer with enough rudder authority to maintain control during an outboard engine failure.

Author Alan Carey takes you through the development of the Privateer and its combat debut in the Pacific. The coverage of this informative title is presented as follows:.

  • Development and Production
  • Privateer Operations in World War II: Tinian (January-May 1945
  • Iwo Jima (June-August 1945
  • Okinawa (April-May 1945)
  • Okinawa (Jun-August 1945)
  • World War II Operations: Clark Field, Philippine (March-August 1945)
  • World War II Operations: Palawan and Mindoro, Philippines
  • Additional World War II Squadrons
  • Cold War Service 1946-1956
  • Korean War Service
  • French Aeronavale and RoCAF Privateer Operations
  • Privateers Since 1961

This title is nicely illustrated with period black and white photographs, plus a section in the rear with 38 color photographs and illustrations. Annexes in the rear catalog the known nose art by Bureau Number (BuNo) and a list of combat losses and circumstances, also by BuNo.

If you're an aviation historian, this will definitely be a nice addition to your library. If you're looking to build a detailed scale model of the Privateer (especially the now-released Cutting Edge 1/48 conversion kit), then this book will be invaluable, especially at the price! This title is highly recommended!