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109


109109B-24D-20-CO #41-24109 ‘109’, assembly ship of the 466th BG. Attlebridge, May 1944. Originally as Ready & Willing it was an aircraft of the 330th BS / 93rd BG. Marked as C the aircraft took part in operation ‘Tidal Wave’ (attack on the Ploiesti Oil Refinery complex) on 1st August 1943, where it was the last machine to fly over the target. After returning to the UK it was still in the 93rd BG based at Hardwick and performed 37 combat sorties with ‘Ted’s Travelling Circus’.In March 1944 the war-weary bomber was transferred to the 466th BG, and was designated to become a formation assembly aircraft. The aircraft was lightened by dismantling the turrets (the upper turret was replaced with an observation cupola, and the rear section was faired over) and stripped of paint from all surfaces. Initially it was not even painted, except a black code T9 situated on the rear fuselage, and large letters ‘L’ on the outer parts of the vertical tails. There was also a serial number painted on the nose section. The ‘new’ assembly aircraft of the 466th BG was ready for the job in March 1944, as it is shown in the photograph on the opposite page. However soon after its first flight, decorative ‘zigzags’ or ‘lightning’ motifs were added on the fuselage. Additionally the ‘L’ on the vertical tails was given a white background and the inner surfaces of vertical tails were also painted white. Note that the ‘zigzags’ ARE NOT symmetrical!