As Marilyn et al have sung, Diamonds are a girls best friend, though it seems they are an aircraft best friend also, though I am not sure how comfortable that seat would be…

B-24 Liberator

Personally I just love this example of the pin-up style of nose art, seen here on the B-24 Liberator ‘Diamond Lil’. The dark-haired, red lipped beauty seen dripping in diamonds and draped in ermine atop an extremely impressive diamond just screams sex appeal. The kind of pin-up that every girl would want to be and every man would want to be with.

This is a more modern example of the ‘Diamond Lil’ nose art on the oldest flying B-24, which continues to wow spectators at air shows.

Designed by Consolidated Aircraft (one of the companies which has now merged into General Dynamics Corporation), who produced the first B-24 Liberator bombers for the British Royal Air force to have greater speed and range and carry a heavier bomb load that the Boeing B-17. She was initially intended for use during WW II by the Royal Air Force but was instead used as a factory test ship and later on as civilian transport after it was rebuilt following an unfortunate accident during its delivery flight to Canada in 1941. Its scheduled flights were between San Diego, Fort Worth and New York and during this time was known as ‘Old 927’, a nickname derived from its Consolidated serial number AM-927.

After the war it was purchased by the Continental Can Company and used as executive transport for the next 10 years. It was then sold on to Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), Mexico’s national oil company, and flown in Latin America….the lady certainly does get around  (though still lacking the enchanting nose art at the time).

In 1967 it was acquired by the CAF and since her Ghost Squ debute has astounded crowds of thousands with her majestic displays. In 1971 she acquired the paint scheme and markings of the 98th Bomb group of the 9th Air Force.

A major restoration project was undertaken in 2006 to bring her back to her former glory. During this restoration the nose art was updated into the beauty you see above and her nickname changed to ‘Diamond Lil’ . Today she continues to fly, only one of two B-24’s still flying, and the oldest surviving. She is carefully maintained and operated by the CAF’S B-29/B-24 Squ based at Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Excitingly if you are lucky enough to live or visit any of the locations on the ‘B-24 Liberator Tour’ you can actually purchase a ride in history on board ‘Diamond Lil’. Known as the ‘Living History Bomber Ride’, this once in a life time experience would allow you to sit in a veterans seat and almost experience, see and feel what they encountered, obviously without the bullets.

According to the song “Men grow cold as girls grow old and we all lose our charms in the end” well ‘Diamond Lil’ will never grow old or lose her charms, she is immortalised for ever more.

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