28 June 1945

B-24M-30-FO 44-51928, the very last of 18,482 B-24 Liberator bombers to be built, is rolled out at Willow Run, 28 June 1945. (The Henry Ford, THF24027 Ford Motor Co. Willow Run Bomber Plant.)

28 June 1945: The very last of 18,482 B-24 Liberator very long range heavy bombers rolled off the assembly line at Ford’s Willow Run Aircraft Plant, located between Belleville and Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Willow Run
Willow Run Airplane Plant

More B-24s were built than any other American aircraft type. They were produced by the designer, Consolidated Aircraft, at its San Diego, California and Fort Worth, Texas plants; by Douglas Aircraft at Tulsa, Oklahoma; North American Aviation at Dallas, Texas; and by Ford Willow Run.

Ford built 6,972 B-24s in 776 days and produced kits for 1,893 more to be assembled by the other manufacturers. The Willow Run plant completed a B-24 every 63 minutes.

The last B-24 built was this B-24M, 44-51928, at the Ford Willow Run plant. (The Henry Ford)
The last B-24 built was this B-24M-30-FO Liberator, 44-51928, at the Willow Run bomber plant. (The Henry Ford THF10153 Ford Motor Co. Willow Run Bomber Plant)

© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes

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13 thoughts on “28 June 1945

  1. The Willow Run Aircraft Plant/airport (YIP) is located between Belleville and Ypsilanti, Michigan. (not Bellview)

    1. Paul, The Final B-24 was immediately flown to a storage facility, and then on to Kingman, Arizona, where it was scrapped. This was the fate of HUNDREDS of BRAND-NEW B-24s toward the end of the War.

      1. if I recall correctly there some planes P-47s or maybe P-40s that were flown to be scrapped immediately after production due to the end of the war and the fact that they couldn’t shut the factories down very quickly. Like the B-24 they were already obsolete coming off the line.

  2. Interesting-according to Wikipedia Ford had started to build single tail N models in May yet the final produced plane was obviously an M.
    Ford had switched over to the single-tailed B-24N in May 1945, but the end of the war in Europe in the same month brought a rapid end to Liberator production; the contract with Ford was officially terminated on 31 May 1945 and orders for 5168 unbuilt B-24N-FO bombers were cancelled as well. The delivery of seven YB-24Ns by Ford in June 1945 marked the end of Liberator production at Willow Run.

  3. I see two B-24Ns in the background of the last shot. Perhaps this M model was to fulfill a previous subcontract or simply paused while the later versions were completed and then built to clear the production line since it was too far along to be broken up?

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