Seen these before? Beautiful Original WWII Color Images of Warbirds

Consolidated C-87-CF Liberator Express 41-11674, flown by American Airlines crews under ATC contract. A number of C-87s were used on North and South Atlantic routes, and some on the infamous Hump route between India and China, that supplied Chinese forces fighting the Japanese.

We found some amazing color photographs of aircraft in World War II. They were all taken in 1942 and recently released by the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.


North American’s P-51 Mustang Fighter is in service with Britain’s Royal Air Force, N[orth] A[merican] Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.


Consolidated PBY patrol bomber.


Working on a Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.


Fueling a Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.


A Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.


Aviation cadet in training in a vought OS2U Kingfisher at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.


Aviation cadet at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.


A giant of the skyways poised for flight, Langley Field, Virginia. The four powerful engines of a YB-17 bomber are warmed up before a takeoff.


One of America’s new warships of the air, a mighty YB-17 bomber, is pulled up at a bombardment squadron hangar, Langley Field, Va. It is set to taxi out to a runway and take off on a mission.


Sailor mechanic fuelling a plane at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.


P-51 (“Mustang”) fighter planes being prepared for test flight at the field of the North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Inglewood, California.


Sunset silhouette of flying fortress, Langley Field, Virginia.


B-25 bombers on the outdoor assembly line at North American Aviation, Incorporated, almost ready for their first test flight, Kansas City, Kansas.


New B-25 bombers lined up for final inspection and tests at the flying field of an aircraft plant, North American Aviation, Inc., Calif. It performs at the 25,000-foot ceiling.


Employees on the “Sunshine” assembly line at North American’s plant put the finishing touches on another B-25 bomber, Inglewood, California. In addition to the battle-tested B-25 (“Billy Mitchell”) bomber, used in General Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, this plant produces the P-51 (“Mustang”) fighter plane which was first brought into prominence during the British raid on Dieppe



Servicing [an] A-20 bomber, Langley Field, Virginia.



A C-87 transport plane, just off the assembly line, at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation field, Fort Worth, Texas.


A C-87 transport plane takes off on test flight, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas


Navy N2S primary land planes at the Naval Air Base in Corpus Christi, Texas.

All images Library of Congress / Flickr

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.