The B-24L was modified from the basic B-24J design to try and reduce the overall aircraft weight. The ball turret was replaced by a pair of .50-cal. machine guns on a floor ring mount and the tail turret was initially replaced by a smaller and lighter M-6 'Stinger' turret. Later in the production run, no tail armament was installed at the assembly plant. Once the aircraft arrived 'in theater' the armament was installed and varied between the standard A-6B tail turret, the M-6A 'Stinger' or a dual-mount manual .50-cal. machine gun set.
The production B-24L was more than 1,000 pounds lighter than the -J model, but the performance was only marginally better. Differences of opinion on how the aircraft should be armed caused some problems also, mainly in logistics. Repair depots had to keep a large variety of spare parts to support a number of Liberator variants. These problems were eased somewhat in the summer of 1944 when the production pool of five plants was reduced to two: Consolidated-San Diego and Ford-Willow Run.
B-24J with weight saving mods.
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