Designed by Consolidated Aircraft, the B-24 Liberator was a heavy bomber employed by several Allied air forces and Navies, including every branch of the US military during World War II. With the aid of Ford Motor Company, the B-24 was in mass production by 1943, with 650 per month and one every hour and over 18,500 rolling off the line. They were first utilized in anti-submarine warfare in the battle of the Atlantic under the RAF Coastal Command.
The B-24, often compared to the B-17 Flying Fortress, was faster, had a greater range, had a higher payload than the famed B-17. The design was built around a single bomb bay which housed up to 8,000lbs of ordinance; it was divided into two asymmetrical compartments containing a catwalk only nine inches wide and a ball turret in the belly that could be retracted when not in use. It had an array of .50 cal(12.7mm) m2 browning machine guns, covering bottom top, front and back, in the belly, top, nose, and tail.