Operation LONG HAUL

International Operation Name: not applicable

International Operation Dates:   not applicable

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Asia

Location:  India

Canadian Operation Name: Operation LONG HAUL

Canadian Operation Dates: 1968/05/27 – 1968/06/16

Mission Mandate: To fly a Consolidated B-24 Liberator, donated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), back to Canada.

Mission Notes:

During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force flew the Consolidated B-24 Liberator as a maritime patrol aircraft and as a long-range freight, mail and VIP transport. After the war, none were preserved in Canada. 

The Liberator now in the collection of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum was used by Southeast Asia Command during the Second World War.  This aircraft number 44-50154 named Reluctant Dragon by the IAF was manufactured at the Ford Motor Company plan at Willow Run, Michigan and was delivered to the Royal Air Force (RAF) on the Lend-Lease program.  Initially the aircraft was abandoned at the end of the war by the RAF, but then restored by the IAF for use in maritime patrols.  It was traded to the National Aviation Museum (now the Canada Aviation and Space Museum) for a Westland Lysander that had been restored by military personnel in Winnipeg for the Centennial celebrations.

On 27 May 1968, the Liberator was handed over to the National Aviation Museum in a ceremony in New Delhi.  The aircraft was flown to Europe by RCAF personnel, and then escorted across the Atlantic Ocean by a 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron Argus, starting on 14 June.  With no de-icing equipment or radar and limited navigation equipment, the Liberator required the escort.  The trip was eventful, with part of the nose turret breaking off and cracking the pilot's windshield, and number four engine refusing to deliver full power.  The situation was worthy of a detour to Keflavik, Iceland. 

On 16 June the Liberator arrived at CFB Trenton.  The journey took 69 flying hours, 11 refuelling stops and covered a distance of 16,900 kilometres.  It went to No. 6 Repair Depot for refinishing as an RCAF Eastern Air Command anti-submarine aircraft.

 

REC681277 14 Aug 1968 CFB Rockliffe Liberator Bomber in Flight Presented to Canada by India.

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