Originally designated as B24J-CO-250 serialled 44-41328 the aircraft was modified to US Navy specifications for the PB4Y-1 and delivered to VPB-116 ("Blue Raiders") on 1st April 1945. Six days later it was given a test flight by Lt Harold Williamson and his crew. Radioman on the crew, ARM1c Stan Chester initially named the aircraft as "E-Z Maid" but the crew finally opted for "Easy Maid" and paid Olsen $75 for his work. Five sinking Japanese ships were added as the result of two of the plane's missions which, in addition to its patrol bombing, also included air-sea rescue flights and anti-submarine patrol.
As well as the Williamson crew, Robert Gibbons is also known to have flown "Easy Maid" on several occasions between April and August 1945. At the end of hostilities, the aircraft was returned to the USA and a section was hacked from its nose to retain the nose art painting. Preserved, it is now part of the inventory and exhibits of the American Airpower Heritage Museum held at Midland, Texas.
© Ray Bowden 28 February 2024