The world’s most produced multi-engine aircraft, the consolidated B24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft in San Diego. Throughout the Second World War, the B24 saw extensive use in all branches of the American Armed Forces and even some of the Allied forces. Most of the bombing that took place over the Western European theatre was carried out by B24 liberator aircraft, including the Italian Campaign between 1942-1943.

In early May 1943, Reggio Calabria was subjected to a series of aerial raids, culminating in the 6 May bombings, which saw two waves of B24s, totalling fifty aircraft flying from North Africa, drop 110 tons of bombs over the city, mainly targeting the harbour. One of these B24 aircraft developed engine trouble over the city and after jettisoning its bomb load the crew decided to fly back to Malta which was often used a haven for damaged aircraft returning from Sicily and Italy. Failed landing attempts at Luqa forced the 10-member crew to ditch the plane at sea. The wheels of the aircraft were lowered when it hit the surface, flipping the plane upside down, and after floating for a few minutes, the tail section sank first. One member of the crew remains unaccounted for till today, whilst the other nine survived and were rescued by the Royal Air Force.

The wreck of the B24 Liberator was discovered in 2015 through a remote sensing survey and lies approximately 1.5km south-west of Marsaxlokk. The entire wing structure of the aircraft is extremely well-preserved, whilst the nose of the aircraft is destroyed and the cockpit is torn open, with the tail section lying beneath the main fuselage.

B24 Liberator

Dive Site, War Grave

Permanently Closed

Maximum Depth: 56 metres

Gallery

Wreck Video

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