The role of the assembly ship in the history of the Liberator is often overlooked. Their use was to help assemble a group formation by providing a point of contact easily visible by all the others Liberators in the group and as such these were often decorated in gaudy fashion. Once the group was in formation the mission leader would take the lead and the assembly aircraft would depart and return to base. As such they were often stripped of all guns. Within the Eighth Air Force they were also known as 'Judas Goats' as they were felt to be leading the other B-24s to their slaughter. 448th BG was the last of the Eighth Air Force B-24 units to go operational in December 1943 beginning their life with B-24D's.