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Consolidated B-32 Dominator

Image Information
Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, “Hobo Queen II,“ serial number 42-108532 of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, Fifth Air Force. She has just arrived from the United States for combat duty. The B-32 program was developed as a concurrent alternative to the B-29. They shared the same engines. After testing the plane in combat over Formosa, Luzon and Hainan, the 386th moved to Okinawa on August 13, 1945. In service, the B-32 had numerous deficiencies. The cockpit had an extremely high noise level and the instrument layout was poor. Bombardier vision was rather poor. The aircraft was overweight for the available engine power, the mechanical subsystems were inadequate, and there were frequent engine fires caused by a faulty nacelle design. There were frequent undercarriage failures, which caused the type to be grounded briefly during May of 1945. The B-32 had excellent low-speed directional control, good takeoff and landing characteristics and rapid control response. The B-32 was a stable bombing platform, its manned turrets provided good protection, its subsystems were easily accessible for maintenance, and its reversible inboard propellers gave it excellent ground-handling characteristics. On August 18, 1945, four B-32s on a photography mission were bounced by fourteen Imperial Japanese Navy A6M Zeroes and three Army Ki-44 “Tojos“ including famed naval ace Saburo Sakai. They shot up two of the B-32s, wounding Staff Sergeant Joseph M. Lacharite and Sergeant John T. Houston, and killing Sergeant Anthony J. Marchione. Hobo Queen II was seriously damaged. This was the last Allied air combat casualty of World War II. Repaired, Hobo Queen II suffered a nosewheel undercarriage failure on October 14, 1945, and was written off.
Image Filename wwii1209.jpg
Image Size 329.93 KB
Image Dimensions 1800 x 1177
Photographer Unknown
Photographer Title
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed May 24, 1945
Location Clark Field
City Clark Field
State or Province Luzon
Country Philippines
Archive United States Air Force
Record Number
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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