Okay....another opportunity to set the record straight.
First, the aircraft tail gun pictured above is NOT accurate for standard 5AF tail guns. It is a very early B-24, possibly even an LB-30 or a C-87 and in the U.S. This is immediately evident by the fact that it is a single .50 caliber. The 5AF retained the tail turret but had the ball turret removed. This is quickly recognized by the windows above the ball turret position as shown by the photos in the ww2 aircraft link. Those aircraft do NOT have ball turrets, but have been fitted with the twin hand-held .50 caliber guns. Any slight curvature you might see on the bottom of the aircraft was due to a plexiglas cover that was put over the opening, They are also J-COs. The immediate recognition feature of the Consolidated nose-turreted aircraft is the square-ish upper rear corner on the bombardier position side glass.
The 7AF retained the ball turret but replaced the tail turret with a series of TWIN .50 caliber tail guns. Some were hydraulically-assisted, many were hand-powered. I have no record whatsoever of any single .50 caliber guns in 7AF B-24 tails, although I do have a photo that smacks of a 20mm field mount.
You will on rare occasion find a Hawaii Air Depot mod (HAD Mod) B-24 that has received BOTH the 5AF AND the 7AF mods. I'm pretty sure this was a screw-up at the mod center. I have several photos of one such aircraft in "Mess 1".
I would be extremely careful about using that ww2 link and its "information". A great deal of it is wrong. I went into a detailed explanation of all these theater/AF armament variations in "Consolidated Mess, Vol. 1", with many photos and drawings. I will do the same with the glassnoses in Vol. 2.
In the process of my researching Vol. 2 I have been going through pretty much every B-24 file and folder at the National Archives and have gathered a huge amount of data both for Vol. 2 and an eventual update of Vol. 1. I'm still not quite sure how to present the new information on the seemingly-endless armament experiments and suggested projects - up to and including mounting 75mm guns and larger in various positions. Research is a "*****" if done correctly, but it is exquisitely revealing. The first part of that statement is probably why so few authors really ever bother to do serious research.
If there are any questions about B-24 armament or configurations, please post them and I'll do my best to answer. I can't quite make out the serial number or the nose art for the box art on the upcoming "J" kit, so I'm not sure if it is configured correctly or not. If they had a copy of my book it SHOULD be right, but.....
PS It is entirely conceivable that there were field mods early on initial B-24s in the Pacific featuring single .50 cal guns, but I've never seen a photo or read a report on one. I retain my serious doubts.
Edited by acresearcher, 26 March 2018 - 07:33 PM.