Air Enthusiast 2006-05
S.Grivno - Last Flight of 'Zebra 442' /World war two/
PB4Y-2 169034 on the flight line at San Diego in lane 1944. Note the B-24s under camouflage netting in the background.
'Zebra 483' on its hardstanding at the recently-constructed Pelilu airfield.
PB4Y-2 169034 on the flight line at San Diego in lane 1944. Note the B-24s under camouflage netting in the background.
On the huge ramp at San Diego, PB4Y-2 169035 showing off the complex double set of bomb doors.
A fine pre-delivery photo of PB4Y-2 169051, dated July 1944. The 'tear' turret is shown to advantage - it was so named because its shape resembled a tear-drop.
The wing and the stowage of the main undercarriage give away the B-24 lineage of the PB4Y-2.
Pelilu: Crew Chief Wilbert 'Mo' Mullinix works on ‘Zulu 483', standing on ‘the universal workbench' (the ever-present 55-gallon fuel drum). His assistant is bow gunner Albert Bagwell. In the background, in the shadow of the fuselage, is the precious toolbox, jettisoned on ‘Zulu 442's’ last mission.
The crew waits for a ride to the barracks area on Tinian after a mission. The only member identified is the crew chief, Lester 'Mo' Mullinix, sitting under the antenna fairing. Notice the equipment lying about - parachutes, sleeping bags and personal gear - all essential as they never knew where they might land.
Apache resting next to one of the main landing gears on ‘Zulu 483'. In the heat of the tropics, even a mascot appreciated a shady spot.
VPB-108's squadron hardstandings on Tinian.
Right tear turret gunner Robert Schroer with Apache. Note the absence of a seal in the opening on the tear turret.
Jim Sutton beside his turret on 'Zulu 483'. The turret is in the nearly extreme down position which allowed the tear turrets to converge their fire 60ft below the aircraft, making a ball turret redundant. Note the two vents in the Plexiglas.
Interior arrangement of the PB4Y-2, from a manual provided by Earl Fankhanel.
Interior view of the defensive armour plating on the PB4Y-2 from a manual. The large fragment at the rear of the flight deck is the piece that came loose on ditching, temporarily pinning down radioman Lester Storms and injuring the dog Apache.