The B-24H was the result of a design effort to improve the defensive firepower of the basic B-24D design. Combat experience showed even the late model B-24Ds with three nose mounted .50-cal. machine guns were vulnerable to head-on attacks. Some B-24Ds had power nose turrets (modified Emerson A-6 tail turrets) added at depot facilities and had greater success fending off frontal assaults.
The Army Air Force wanted this improvement incorporated into the B-24s coming off the production lines, so Emerson and Consolidated engineers redesigned the aircraft to accept the turret. The results were sent to the Ford Willow Run plant for manufacture. The nose turret addition required more than 50 airframe changes including a new bombardier compartment. Other improvements incorporated to improve the defensive strength of the aircraft included a new tail turret design with larger plexiglass windows, a higher top turret bubble for increased visibility and offset waist gunner positions (starting with block 20 aircraft) to prevent the waist gunners from interfering with each other in battle.
The -H model design was sent to North American which built it as the B-24G-1. Ford also sent B-24H subassemblies to Consolidated and Douglas for final assembly.
Imp. for greater def. firepower
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