A forgotten story of death and survival during wartime has been brought to light after 70 years as local people unearthed the remains of an American World War II aircraft known as the “Flying Coffin.”
Found in the forests of Selva del Lamone, a natural reserve near the town of Farnese, Viterbo, in central Italy, the wreck remains were identified as belonging to the heavy bomber Consolidated B-24 Liberator.
B-24s are recorded as having dropped over 630,000 tons of bombs during World War II and were the most heavily produced American aircraft.
The four-engine aircraft was notorious among aircrews. Officially designated the “Liberator,” the square shaped B-24 could easily turn into a death trap. It was hard to fly with its stiff and heavy controls, and so earned its name by its crews as the “Flying Coffin.”
Liberators had only one exit near the tail, making it almost impossible for the crew to reach the rear from the flight deck when wearing a parachute.