Watch this: GoPro video shows the point of view from the retractable ball turret of a WWII B-24 heavy bomber

After watching the awesome clip of a Lancaster flying over London, many readers have sent links to other footage worth a look.

For instance, the extremely interesting video in this post gives a previously unseen view at the Consolidated B-24J Liberator.

The B-24 was among the U.S. most famous heavy bombers of WWII: at +18,400 units, it ended the conflict as the most produced heavy bomber in history and was the only to deploy U.S.’ first forerunner to precision-guided munitions during the war, the 1,000 lb. Azon guided bomb.

Thanks to a GoPro camera was installed at the end of the 50 cal gun facing the retractable ball turret; the footage shot from that camera lets you see the aircraft taxiing, rotating and maneuvering in the background.

Unlike what one might think, statistics show that the ball turret gunner had the lowest combat loss rate in WWII: even if some gunners crashed with their aircraft there were some who survived using chest pack chutes, and bailing out of the aft door or open bomb bay.

If the turret gunner was small enough he could have worn a B-8 backpack parachute in the turret and could potentially bail out directly from the turret.

I found it extremely cool, don’t you?

 

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About David Cenciotti 3731 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.