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Douglas A-26 Invader, 3rd Bombardment Group, 1944

Douglas A-26 Invader, 3rd Bombardment Group, 1944

Douglas A-26 Invader, 3rd Bombardment Group, 1944

139118 was een van vier Douglas A-26 Invaders wat gedurende 1944 deur die 3de Bombardement Group getoets is. Op hierdie stadium is die vliegtuig as onbevredigend beskou en het eers in 1945 in die Verre Ooste gedien.

Foto verskaf deur Scott Lindley, oorspronklik uit die Jack Wheeler -versameling, nou saam met Craig Myhre.


Douglas A -26 Invader, 3rd Bombardment Group, 1944 - Geskiedenis

Die A-26 teen Duitsland

  • Agtien A-26's is deur die 553ste Bom-eskader in Great Dunmow, Engeland, ontvang.
  • Die eerste missie van die A-26's was op 9 November 1944 met die 9de Air Froce.
  • 11 567 missies is gevlieg en 18 054 ton / 18 344 ton bomme het geval.
  • Een vliegtuig is gekrediteer met 'n moontlike dood van 'n Me 262 -straler.

Die Douglas A-26 Invader het die meeste gevegte tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog teen die Duitsers beleef, en was beduidend by die negende lugmag. Die gevegsdebuut van die vliegtuig in die Stille Oseaan was onindrukwekkend vier vroeë B-26's met die oorspronklike spoelkappie en hul ondervleuelgeweerkoppe verwyder om hul prestasie te verbeter, is getoets deur die 13de Bombardement Squadron van die 3rd Bombardment Group on New Guinee, en het 'n baie slegte indruk gemaak, meestal as gevolg van die swak sigbaarheid van die kajuit.

Douglas het beter resultate nodig gehad uit die invader se tweede gevegstoets, wat uitgevoer sou word deur die 553ste Bombardement Squadron van die 386th Bombardment Group, deel van die Negende Lugmag, wat teen die laat somer van 1944 sterk betrokke was by die veldtog in die noorde -Westelike Europa. Agtien A-26's is na Brittanje gestuur, en tussen 6 en 19 September het aan agt bombardemente op medium vlak deelgeneem, begin met 'n aanval op Brest.

Die negende lugmagverslag was oorweldigend positief. Die A-26 kon meer bomme dra as die A-20, en het 'n groter gevegsradius, beter enkelmotorprestasie, vliegeienskappe en wendbaarheid as die A-20 of die B-26. Geen vliegtuie het verlore gegaan tydens die agt toetsopdragte nie, en die negende lugmag het aangekondig dat hy dit graag sou wou vervang met die A-20's en B-26's met die A-26 Invader.

Die negende lugmag het die hoofgebruiker van die A-26 in oorlogstyd geword, en uiteindelik het vyf bombarderingsgroepe optrede teen die Duitsers beleef. Die eerste wat geveg het, was die 409e en 416e bombarderingsgroepe, wat betyds hul A-26's ontvang het om hulle teen die Duitse kommunikasie te gebruik tydens die slag van die Bulge. Die 386ste bombardementgroep het kort na die einde van die geveg die stryd aangegaan, en in April het die 391ste die laaste groep geword wat heeltemal oorgeskakel het na die A-26, teen hulle teen die Duitse vervoernetwerk. Die 410ste bombardementgroep was besig om oor te skakel na die A-26 toe die oorlog geëindig het, hoewel dit in Januarie 'n klein aantal ontvang het wat dit as padzoekers gebruik het om die groep A-20's en B-26 Marauders na hul doelwitte te lei.

In Italië het die twaalfde lugmag se 47ste bomgroep ook die A-26 ontvang, begin in Januarie 1945. Weer eens is dit gebruik teen Duitse vervoerskakels, maar ook vir direkte ondersteuning en interdik teen tenks en troepekonsentrasies in die Po-vallei in die finale veldtogte in Italië.

Uiteindelik het die 492ste Bomb-groep 'n klein aantal A-26's ontvang, wat dit gebruik het op tapytbagger-missies agter Duitse linies, afvalmiddels en voorrade om klandestiene operasies en versetgroepe te ondersteun,


Douglas A-26 / B-26 Invader

Geskryf deur: Dan Alex | Laaste wysiging: 30/05/2021 | Inhoud en kopie www.MilitaryFactory.com | Die volgende teks is eksklusief vir hierdie webwerf.

Die Douglas A-26 Invader was 'n uitstekende tweemotorige ligte bomwerper met 'n goeie oorsprong in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die stelsel was vaardig om dag en nag te vlieg, en het doelwitte met 'n magdom masjiengewere aangeval of bomme laat val en op gelyke sukses op lae en medium hoogte gewerk. Die tipe is tydens die konflik in beide die Stille Oseaan en die Europese teaters aangebied, en het daarna aksie geneem tydens die wêreldoorloë, waaronder Korea, Indo-China en Viëtnam. Uiteindelik het die indringer ongeveer twintig jaar lank Amerikaanse magte gedien voordat hy amptelik afgetree en uit diens geneem is - dit was die bereik van hierdie wonderlike vliegtuig.

Ontwikkeling

Met die ontwerp wat reeds in 1940 begin, is die Invader vir die eerste keer op 10 Julie 1942 gevlieg as die voorproduksie-prototipe XA-26. Die XA-26 verskyn as opvolger van die Douglas A-20 Havoc, 'n vliegtuig met 'n soortgelyke rol en ontwerpuitleg, met 'n glasneus en 5.000 interne en eksterne wapens. Bewapening het bestaan ​​uit 2 x 12,7 mm vorentoe gemonteerde masjiengewere en 'n periskoop-afgevuurde dorsale en ventrale barbette, elk met 2 x 12,7 mm masjiengewere ('n rangskikking wat baie ooreenstem met die produksie A-26C-modelle). 'N Oproep is voltooi en vroeg in 1941 vertoon met die kontrak wat in Junie daardie jaar afgehandel is. Die kontrak het oorspronklik slegs twee prototipe vliegtuigtipes vereis wat die XA-26-ligte aanvalbommenwerper en die XA-26A toegewyde nagaanvalvegter insluit.

Die daaropvolgende toetse het 'n paar strukturele probleme met die neuslandingsgestel aan die lig gebring - dit is geneig om ineen te stort - en as sodanig is die komponent herontwerp. Ander modifikasies fokus op die oorverhitting van die enjin waarna die oorspronklike skroefdraaiers (bedoel om die vaartbelyning van die vliegtuig te bevorder) verwyder is vir verbeterde verkoeling van lugvloei en die enjinkoppe is herontwerp vir beter prestasie. Oor die algemeen het die toetse bewys dat die ontwerp van die vliegtuig baie sterk is en dat dit baie vinnig kan wees. Hantering word as bogemiddeld beskou en is baie responsief. Wat die XA-26 uniek gemaak het, was die enkelloods-kajuit, wat nie die behoefte aan 'n toegewyde mede-vlieënier vereis nie, en dus die romp slanker gehou het, soos die Northrop P-61 Black Widow en Douglas A-20 Havoc. Die XA-26 is deur die USAAF bestel met die reeksbenaming A-26 en bestaan ​​uit verskeie groot variante, hoewel daar geen A-26A-produksiemodel bestaan ​​nie. Die produksie van die A-26-reeks vorder stadig, aangesien die meeste van Douglas se aanlegte gekoppel was aan die vorige vliegtuigproduksie. As sodanig sou die A-26 tot 1944 moes wag om volledige vorms te sien.

Die XA-26A-model was 'n prototipe nagvegter en aanvalplatform. Hierdie model verdien vermelding vanweë sy toegewyde rol wat die soliede neus van die soekradarstelsel bekendstel. 'N Ventrale geweerbad is ontwerp om te kompenseer vir die gebrek aan voorwaartse bewapening van die vliegtuie en het gelei tot 'n battery van 4 x 20 mm kanon. Bombload was 'n klein 2.000 pond danksy die ruimte wat toegewy is aan die radarstelsel en kanonbewapening (en ammunisie). Die dorsale afstandbeheerde barbette is behou met sy 2 x 12,7 mm-masjiengewere. Die Northrop P-61 Black Widow het die XA-26A tot die nagvegter geslaan, en was reeds in produksie en het dieselfde prestasie-spesifikasies as die XA-26A. Die krag sou afkomstig wees van 'n paar Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 radiale enjins wat elk 2 000 perdekrag het. Die XA-26A bestaan ​​slegs in 'n enkele prototipe-aanbod.

In Junie 1942 is die aanvanklike Army Air Corps-kontrak gewysig en 'n derde prototipe vliegtuig bygevoeg in die vorm van 'n enkele XA-26B-voorbeeld wat by die Douglas El Segundo-aanleg voltooi is. Hierdie vliegtuigmodel sou pas by die vorm van 'n aanvallerplatform met 'n lae hoogte met Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27-enjins van elk 2 000 perdekrag en 'n interne/eksterne bomvermoë van 6000 pond met 'n bemanning van drie. Visueel was die XA-26B soortgelyk aan die XA-26A-modelreeks en het 'n soortgelyke soliede neusbedekking, maar dit oor 'n ingeboude 75 mm-kanon. In teorie was die vliegtuig 'n goeie wapen, maar in die praktyk was die kanon traag om te skiet en was dit geneig om vas te val met 'n hoë vlak van vereiste onderhoud. Dit het die Douglas -span gedwing om 'n magdom alternatiewe bewapeningskombinasies te probeer, insluitend die gebruik van 37 mm kanonne of swaar masjiengewere of albei. Sommige vroeë B-modelle is van die lyn afgetrek om verskillende wapens uit te toets. Indrukwekkende idees is behandel, maar dit het vlugtig geblyk, soos om die 75 mm -kanon met twee 12,7 mm -masjiengewere of twee 37 mm -kanonne met 4 x 12,7 mm -masjiengewere te monteer. Hierdie ontwikkelingsvertraging het uiteindelik gelei tot 'n vroeë reeks produksie-B-modelle met 6 x 12,7 mm-masjiengewere en 'n latere produksieblok van B-modelle met 8 x 12,7 mm-masjiengewere, aangesien die produksie van die tipe reeds begin het terwyl die bewapening het gevolg. Die USAAF het die ontwerp op 30 Junie 1943 aanvaar.

Die A-26B-modelreeks het die produksieweergawe van die XA-26B geword, met sy versameling swaar masjiengewere in 'n soliede neus en 'n topsnelheid van 350-355 myl per uur met haar Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 , -71 of -79 reeks enjins van 2 000 perdekrag. 'N Bemanning van drie het hierdie tipe bestuur en bestaan ​​uit 'n vlieënier, navigator/laaier en kanonnier. Sowat 1,355 B-26B modelreeksvliegtuie is uiteindelik saam met 25 ander vliegtuie vervaardig wat nooit afgelewer is nie. Produksie is behartig by twee Douglas -aanlegte - een in Long Beach, Kalifornië en die ander in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Hierdie Invader-modelle is uiteindelik gevolg deur 'n A-26C-model met 'n ingeslote neus en 'n bombardierbemande Norden-bomsig, saam met 'n topsnelheidsverhoging tot 370 myl per uur. Dit was meer in ooreenstemming met die toegewyde rolaanvalbomwerpers se rol as die vorige A-26B-modelle, waarvan die forte oor die algemeen met masjiengewere gespan het. A-26C-modelle is gelyktydig saam met A-26B-stelsels gebou. Vroeë A-26C's is gesien met 'n geraamde kajuit, maar dit is later verander na die glaskajuit van 'n soort skulp, wat die reikafstand en nooduitgang van die vliegtuig verbeter het. C-modelle is toegerus met kragtiger enjins in die vorm van 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-enjins van 2 000 perdekrag elk met waterinspuiting. Vlerke is ook versterk om tot 14 x 5 "vuurpyle of 2.000 pond bomme te monteer. Die vlerke is effens verander om 6 x 12.7 mm vleuelgemonteerde masjiengewere te akkommodeer om die gebrek aan pons as gevolg van die verwydering van die neus te vergoed. gemonteer bewapening wat algemeen is vir die B-modelle. 1,091 A-26C modelle is gelewer.

A-26C-modelle het 'n onderskeid geraak om 'hoofskepe' te word vir A-26B-modelle met vaste neus. As hoofskepe sou die A-26C sy teiken registreer en haar bomme laat val, wat die agterste A-26B's aandui om dieselfde te doen. Hierdie metode van bombardemente was alledaags vir vliegtuie in die ligte bombarderingsrol, soos die A-20 Havoc. A-26C-modelle het uiteindelik die spesiaal ontwerpte A-20 Havoc-loodskepe (A-20J's en A-20K's) in hierdie rol vervang.

RB-26B en RB-26C verteenwoordig ongewapende foto-verkenningsmodelle wat onderskeidelik van bestaande B-26B- en B-26C-modelle gewysig is, terwyl afrigter B-26's as TB-26B en TB-26C aangedui is op grond van hul onderskeie lettermodelle. VB-26B het 'n administratiewe rol gedien. Na-oorlogse produksie Invaders sou voortspruit uit die voorgestelde A-26Z-konfigurasie wat beide 'n soliede neus A-26G en 'n glasneus A-26H-model sou bedek het. Dit is nooit vervaardig nie. Die Amerikaanse vloot het 'n paar Douglas Invaders in beperkte rolle gebruik en hulle aangewys as 'n teiken-reeks JD-1. Drone-direkteure was bekend as JD-1D met albei herontwerp in 1962 as onderskeidelik UB-26J en DB-26J. Die YB-26K was 'n hoogs aangepaste B-26B-model, wat die B-26K 'Counter Invader' geword het en uiteindelik weer na die A-26A herontwerp is. Hierdie tweemanvliegtuie het met Pratt & Whitney R-2800-103W-enjins van 2,500 perdekrag met waterinspuiting gevlieg en in die Viëtnam-oorlog gewerk.

Die ontwerp van die A-26 Invader was tipies van 'n ligte bomwerperontwerp in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die romp was vaartbelyn en bevat die kajuit, bombaai en geweerposisies. Die neus op die B-26B was 'n 'soliede' neus met die 6 of 8 x 12.7mm masjiengeweer. Die ingeglasde neus wat op A-26C-modelle gevind is, dui op die gebruik van 'n bombardier/navigator en bomskermkontroles in die plek van die neusgemonteerde gewere. 'N Invader -bemanning van drie bestaan ​​tradisioneel uit die vlieënier, navigator/radio -operateur en skutter, laasgenoemde het dorsale en ventrale geweer torings beman. Die C-model bevat 'n bombardier/navigator-bemanningslid saam met twee neusgemonteerde 12,7 mm-masjiengewere. Die vliegtuigraamwerk was 'n goed saamgestelde struktuur, aangesien dit bekend was dat 'n indringer aansienlike skade aangerig het en steeds haar bemanning na die tuisbasis terugbring. Dit was moontlik om op 'n enkele enjin te vlieg, selfs met 'n volle bomblaas. Die empennage was tradisioneel en het die identifiseerbare afgeronde vertikale vin wat strek vanaf die boonste agterste romp.

Die A-26B Invader het geskitter toe dit by die uitrusting kom. Meer opvallend was die battery van 6 x 12,7 mm (.50 kaliber) swaar masjiengewere (vroeë blok A-26B-modelle) wat almal in die neusbehuizing toegeken is. Later het blok B-26Bs 'n totaal van 8 x 12,7 mm masjiengewere op die neus gehad. Hierdie samestelling het die indringer in staat gestel om verwoestende swaai op vyandelike grondteikens te maak met gewoonlik vernietigende resultate, deur die gekonsentreerde krag van ses tot agt swaar kaliber masjiengewere te kombineer in een fokuspunt van warm lood. Benewens die neusbewapening, is twee 12,7 mm masjiengewere in 'n dorsale barbette gehou, terwyl nog twee in 'n ventrale barbette verskyn. Die ventrale barbette is soms verwyder ten gunste van 'n ekstra brandstofsel. Indringers kan ook 8 x ondervleuelgeweerpeule en 6 x 12,7 mm masjiengewere dra wat aan elke voorkant van die vleuel gemonteer is (drie gewere na 'n kant) saam met blisterhouers aan die romp se kante - alles gekonsentreer in 'n vorentoe -afwaartse posisie. Met 'n enkele uitbarsting van die hele masjiengewere sou die hele vliegtuig gewelddadig agteruit buff, met inagneming van die veiligheid van die bemanning. In totaal kan 'n gegewe A-26 tot 22 x 12,7 mm masjiengewere dra met tot 6 000 rondtes ammunisie.

Die dodelikheid van die Douglas Invader is verder beklemtoon deur die moontlikheid om tussen 4,000 en 8,000lbs interne en eksterne wapens in die vorm van valbomme of 8 tot 14 x 5 "vuurpyle te dra (laasgenoemde is ekstern gehou op agt of veertien ondervliegmasters - die volle 16 vuurpylontplooiing was moontlik in plaas van die valtenks en vlerkbomme) .Dit was eintlik bekend dat indringers groter bomblaaie kon dra as wat dit op die groter Boeing B-17 vliegvestings gevind is. Uithouvermoë kan verleng word met die byvoeging van 165 liter ondervliegtenks, wat die reikwydte van die vliegtuig met tot 300 myl vergroot. C-model Invaders met die ingeslote neus was toegerus met 2 x 12,7 mm masjiengewere in die neus saam met die 2 x 12,7 mm geweerstelsels in elke rewolwer, maar voorwaartse vuurkrag is aangevul met die toevoeging van die 6 x vleuelgemonteerde masjiengewere.

Operasionele diens

Die aflewerings van die A-26 in die model B-26B het in Augustus 1943 begin en die stelsel het onmiddellik die vinnigste Amerikaanse bomwerper van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog geword. die Stille Oseaanfront. A-26's is met die vyfde lugmag in die Stille Oseaan-teater in werking gestel en op 23 Junie 1944 hul eerste uitstappie gevlieg. Europese aflewerings het in September 1944 plaasgevind en was saam met die negende lugmag gestasioneer. maande later. Indringers het tot die einde van die oorlog gedien, waarna baie in die naoorlogse wêreld saam met die United States Strategic Air Command en Tactical Air Command gedien het. Die USAF het die "aanval" -aanwysing van die vliegtuig in 1948 laat vaar en die Invader amptelik herontwerp as die B-26 (om nie te verwar met die Tweede Wêreldoorlog nie, Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomwerpers).

Die A-26B en A-26C het uitgebrei gebruik in die komende Koreaanse Oorlog met minstens 37 vliegtuie in die hand op 25 Junie 1950. Elemente van die 3de Bombardement Group (8ste, 13de en 90ste eskader) was enkele van die eerste eenhede wat in aksie in die konflik, begin van die Japannese basisse om teikens op die skiereiland te tref. Later dieselfde jaar het die groepsterkte toegeneem tot 90 vliegtuie. Daar kan op hierdie indringers gereken word om in die donker donker op lae vlakke te werk, oor en om die gevaarlike bergterrein in Korea. Indringers sal erkenning kry aan duisende vyandelike voertuie wat teen die einde van die oorlog vernietig is, met 'n totaal van ongeveer 232 000 vliegure en byna 20 miljoen rondes 12,7 mm ammunisie. Aanvanklik was indringers wat in Japan gestasioneer was, bedoel om 'n dekmantel te bied vir Amerikaanse burgers wat die Suid -Koreaanse hoofstad Seoul ontruim. Maar teen 29 Junie 1950 het die vliegtuig die doelwitte van Noord -Korea direk getref. Die B-26 was 'n onskatbare aanwins vir die ontwrigting van toevoerlyne wat langs bekende paaie loop, waar die indringer die vuur van sy vuurkrag op ongewapende teikens kon bring. Taktiek het verander met operasionele ervaring en invader -spanne het geleer om die bewegende teikens wat hulle in die verlede gesorteer het, met presisie te probeer bombardeer. Indringers het vliegvelde met gelyke ywer geteiken deur hul formidabele bomblaas (insluitend napalm) saam met hul masjiengewere en vuurpyle te gebruik teen die doelwitte van geleenthede. Die A-26 self was 'n sukses in sy nagmissies, alhoewel die vyand ongetwyfeld veerkragtig was en sy routeringspatrone op die grond kon verander in reaksie op Amerikaanse aanvalpatrone.

B-26-vliegtuie sou ook die laaste USAF-vliegtuig wees wat die munisipaliteit in die konflik laat vaar het voor die staking van vyandelikhede. Na die oorlog sou 'n Noord -Koreaanse generaal erken dat die B -26 een van die mees gevreesde wapens van die konflik was - dit was die terroriserende bereik daarvan in die nag op grondteikens. Minstens 7 B-26-eskaders was in die Koreaanse Oorlog gestasioneer, waaronder een RB-26-element. Amerikaanse B-26-modelle is in 1958 tydelik uit diens geneem en dien in streng skakelmissies en personeelvervoerfunksies.

Frankryk het 'n ander invaderoperateur geword deur die USAF te huur in hul Indo-China-konflik van die 1950's. Dit het die nie-amptelike benaming van B-26N en was gebaseer op B-26C-modelle met AI Mk X radarstelsels van ou Meteor NF.11-straal aangedrewe nagvegters. Franse stelsels het hul indringers met geweerpeule en ondervleuel vuurpyle bedryf.

Amerikaanse B-26B-stelsels is weer tot aksie opgeroep, hierdie keer in 1961 met die USAF as taktiese bomwerpers in die beginjare van die Viëtnam-oorlog. President John F. Kennedy se bystandsinisiatief roep die vliegtuig weer in aksie uit die stoorplek en die Invader is aanlyn in verkennings- en aanvalrolle gebring. Hierdie aksie was egter van korte duur, aangesien die stelsels van 1961 tot 1964 geveg het. Vliegtuie wat aan hierdie vroeë optrede deelgeneem het, het eintlik met Suid-Viëtnamese merktekens en onder RB-26-verkenningsaanwysings geveg, maar was ten volle gevegsklaar. Die missies van die vliegtuig het gou gegroei, insluitend begeleiding en noue lugondersteuning, asook tradisionele aanvalrolle. Teen hierdie tyd het die oorlogmoeë B-26's hul ouderdom begin toon. Jare se operasionele gebruik het hul tol op vliegtuie begin eis, aangesien voortdurende werking die algemene veiligheid van die tipe verminder het. Die B-26B is om veiligheidshalwe spoedig uit diens onttrek, aangesien ten minste twee sulke vliegtuie neergestort het weens strukturele mislukking.

In 1963 het minstens 40 B-26-vliegtuie die B-26K "Counter Invader" -model met twee sitplekke geword vir die USAF na die suksesvolle proewe van die YB-26K-program. Die YB-26 beskik oor waterinspuiting Pratt & Whitney R-2800-103W-enjins van 2500 perdekrag, 8 x 12,7 mm neusmasjiengewere, 6 x 12,7 mm vleuelmasjiengewere met eksterne pilare vir tot 8,000 pond weermag, 'n interne kapasiteit van 4000 lbs en dubbele stuurkajuitkontroles met opgedateerde lugvaartkunde.

Met die wysiging wat deur On Mark Engineering Company hanteer is, het hierdie vliegtuie in produksievorm verskyn met Pratt & Whitney R-2800-52W-enjins met waterinspuiting, omkeerbare propellers, versterkte vlerke met aangepaste vleuelklappe, herboude stertgedeelte met groter roer en vlerkpunt-brandstoftenks vir verhoogde uithouvermoë. Boonop het hierdie B-26K-modelle hul masjiengewere met 'n vleuel van 6 x 12,7 mm verwyder, maar die formidabele formasie van 8 x 12,7 mm in die soliede neusbehoud behou. Hierdie indringers, net soos hul Koreaanse broers, is aangekla van ontwrigting van vyandelike toevoerlyne. In 1966 is hierdie B-26K-modelle nou amptelik herontwerp as A-26A. in Counter Invaders bedryf tot in 1969 in Suidoos -Asië voor die uittrede uit die USAF. Teen hierdie tyd is die rol van die A-26A ingehaal deur die kanonbelaaide Lockheed AC-130 Hercules-gewerskepe onder ander meer bekwame vliegtuie. Die produksie van die B-26K/A-26A het tussen 1963 en 1964 plaasgevind teen 'n koste van $ 577,000.

Die finale A-26 is in 1969 uit diens geneem en die hele lyn is teen 1972 uit diens geneem. Sowat 2 452 Indringers is vervaardig. Altesaam 18 verskillende lande het die indringer tegelyk bedryf in burgerlike en militêre gedaante.

A-26's het ook diens gedoen by die US Air National Guard-eenhede, en was van die laaste Amerikaanse gebruikers van die vliegtuig. ANG-eenhede het hul indringers in die naoorlogse jare ontvang. Dit is skielik laat vaar aan die begin van die Korea-konflik, aangesien B-26's weer vir oorlog bestem was. Met die vordering van die straaltydperk en die einde van die Koreaanse oorlog, het A-26-aflewerings aan die ANG voortgegaan wat die tipe gedurende die 1950's bedryf het. Die B-26 sou sy laaste merkbare ANG-voorkoms vroeg in 1970 as 'n omskepte personeelvervoer sien.

Die Douglas A-26/B-26 het 'n baie lang en produktiewe lewensduur geleef, gegewe haar oorsprong in 'n vereiste van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die indringer het nie net aan die konflik deelgeneem nie, maar ook 'n langdurige gebruik en 'n onnatuurlike lang lewe vir 'n bomwerper in die daaropvolgende Koreaanse en Viëtnam -oorloë. Die indringer het in elk geval baie van die eienskappe behou wat haar bemanning bewonder het - spoed, oorlewing en aanstootlike vuurkrag. Die stelsel het dekades lank sedert die aanvang daarvan bestaan, en het haar stryd bewys in konflikte wat die meeste ander masjiene in die lug getoets het - wat die fabelagtige Invader met vlieënde kleure laat verbygaan het.


Douglas A-26 Invader

XA-26 41-19504, die Invader-prototipe, is die eerste keer op 10 Julie 1942 in die lug. Hierdie vliegtuig het die neus van die geprojekteerde A-26C-bomwerpervariant. Die A-26A nagvegter sou 'n radar in die neus gehad het, met vier 20 mm kanon in 'n ventrale pak.

Vir aanvalopdragte het die A-26B ses 12,7 mm (0,50 cal) masjiengewere in sy neus, afstandbeheerde dorsale en ventrale torings, elk met twee 12,7 mm masjiengewere, en tot 10 meer in ondervleugel en onder romp pakke.

Die nagvegter is gekanselleer, maar die A-26B- en A-26C-modelle is in produksie gehaas. Die eerste indringers in die geveg was vier A-26B's wat in Nieu-Guinee gebruik is, waar die vliegtuig ongewild geblyk het op lae vlakke. Dit is duidelik dat al die 'goggas' van die tipe nog nie uitgestryk moes word nie.

In September 1944 het die 553ste Bomb Squadron in Great Dunmow, Engeland, 18 masjiene ontvang. Hulle resultate was meer belowend. Uiteindelik is 11 567 missies gevlieg, wat 18 344 ton (18 054 ton) bomme gelewer het. Een vliegtuig is selfs gekrediteer met 'n waarskynlike 'doodmaak' van 'n Me 262 -straaljagter.

In die Stille Oseaan was lug -tot -grond -aanvalle en bestrydings teen versending tipies. Drie USAAF-bomgroepe het A-26's gebruik teen teikens in Okinawa, Formosa en A-26's op die vasteland van Japan was aktief naby Nagasaki toe die tweede A-bom op 9 Augustus 1945 laat val is.

Die Douglas A-26 Invader, miskien beter bekend vir sy na-oorlogse bedrywighede, het eers in September 1944 in die Europese en Stille teaters van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog gedien. Die A-26 was ontwerp deur ED Heinemann om die A-20 Havoc te vervang, maar was baie soortgelyk na die Havoc in konfigurasie. Die rolle van bomwerper, nagvegter en grondaanvalvliegtuie is vir die tipe in die vooruitsig gestel, maar produksievliegtuie is bestel vir lug tot grond.


Douglas A -26 Invader, 3rd Bombardment Group, 1944 - Geskiedenis

Die New England Air Museum is die tuiste van 'n gedenkteken vir die 416ste bomgroep (lig). Die 416ste het tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog die A-26 "Invader" in Europa gevlieg.

Die museum se A-26, genaamd die "Reida Rae", het tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog met die 416ste gevlieg nadat dit in 1944 aan die Amerikaanse lugmag gegee is. Die vliegtuig het meer as dertig gevegsopdragte saam met die groep gevlieg. Nadat hy van hande verwissel het en uiteindelik in Stratford, CT, verlaat is, het die museum die vliegtuig in 1971 aangeskaf.

Die herstel begin in 2003. Daar is besluit dat die uitstallings rondom die vliegtuig op die 416ste bomgroep (lig) sou fokus en as 'n gedenkteken vir die groep sou dien. Die herstel is in 2012 onder bemanningshoof Carl Sgamboti voltooi. Die New England Air Museum het baie reünies aangebied vir die 416ste veterane en hul gesinne, waarin baie van die oorspronklike bemanning van die "Reida Rae" die wonderlike herstel van die vliegtuie wat hulle al die jare gelede gevlieg het, kon sien. NEAM -dosente vertel graag die verhale van die "Reida Rae" en hou die geskiedenis van die vliegtuig en die bomgroep lewendig vir die besoekers wat deur die museum kom.

Lede van die 416ste bomgroep (lig) herenig vir die toewyding van die A-26, 2011


Douglas A-26 Invader

Die Douglas A-26 Invader (aangewys as B-26 tussen 1948 en 1965) is 'n Amerikaanse tweemotorige ligte bomwerper en grondaanvalvliegtuig. Die Invader is tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog deur Douglas Aircraft Company gebou, en het tydens verskeie groot konflikte in die Koue Oorlog ook diens ondergaan. 'N Beperkte aantal hoogs aangepaste Amerikaanse lugmagvliegtuie het tot 1969 in Suidoos -Asië gedien. Dit was 'n vinnige vliegtuig wat 'n groot bomlading kon dra. 'N Reeks gewere kan aangebring word om 'n formidabele grondaanvalvliegtuig te vervaardig.

'N Herbenaming van die tipe van A-26 tot B-26 het tot verwarring gelei met die Martin B-26 Marauder, wat die eerste keer in November 1940 gevlieg het, sowat 20 maande voor die eerste ontwerp van die Douglas-ontwerp. Alhoewel albei tipes aangedryf word deur die wyd gebruikte Pratt & amp; Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp-agtien-silinder, dubbelry-radiale enjin, was hulle heeltemal anders en het hulle verskillende ontwerpe. Die Martin-bomwerper het sy oorsprong in 1939, met meer as twee keer soveel Marauders (byna 5.300) vervaardig in vergelyking met die Douglas -ontwerp.

Die A-26's het einde September 1944 in Europa begin aankom vir toewysing aan die negende lugmag. Die aanvanklike ontplooiing behels 18 vliegtuie en spanne wat aan die 553d -eskader van die 386ste bomgroep toegewys is. Hierdie eenheid het sy eerste missie op 6 September 1944 gevlieg. Geen vliegtuie het verlore gegaan tydens die agt toetsmissies nie, en die negende lugmag het aangekondig dat hulle al sy A-20's en B-26's met die A-26 Invader wou vervang.

Die eerste groep wat ten volle oorgeskakel het na die A-26B was die 416ste Bombardement Group waarmee hy op 17 November geveg het, en die 409th Bombardment Group, waarvan die A-26's einde November in werking getree het. As gevolg van 'n tekort aan A-26C-variante, het die groepe 'n gekombineerde A-20/A-26-eenheid gevlieg totdat aflewerings van die glasneus-weergawe ingehaal het. Benewens bombardemente en stroping, is taktiese verkennings- en nag -interdikasie -missies suksesvol uitgevoer. In teenstelling met die in die Stille Oseaan gebaseerde eenhede, is die A-26 goed ontvang deur vlieëniers en bemanning, en teen 1945 het die 9de AF 11,567 missies gevlieg, 18,054 ton bomme laat val en sewe bevestigde kills aangeteken terwyl 67 vliegtuie verloor is.

In Italië het die Twaalfde Lugmag se 47ste bomgroep ook die A-26 ontvang, wat in Januarie 1945 begin het. Italië.


Douglas A -26 Invader, 3rd Bombardment Group, 1944 - Geskiedenis

A-26 ETO Combat Evaluation

Wat het die A-26 ETO Combat Evaluation met die 416ste bomgroep te doen?

Die Douglas A-26 Invader-vliegtuig is deur die A-26 ETO Combat Evaluation Project Squadron aan die European Theatre of Operations (ETO) voorgestel. Hierdie mans het gedurende September maand 1944 Invader-vliegtuie op agt Combat Missions gevlieg om die geskiktheid van die A-26 in werklike gevegsituasies te evalueer en te bepaal. Na hierdie suksesvolle missies, het die A-26 ETO Combat Evaluation Project Squadron en gepaardgaande mobiele opleidingseenhede verhuis na Stasie A-55, Melun, Frankryk om die 416ste bomgroep op die Invader in Oktober 1944 op te lei, daarna na die 409e en 410e Douglas A-20 Havoc Bomb Groups, gevolg deur die European Martin B-26 Maurader Groups.

Baie van hierdie Project Squadron -personeellede het daarna by die 416ste BG aangesluit. Alhoewel baie van die Project Squadron-vliegtuie in die 416ste BG A-20 tot A-26 oorgangsoefening gebruik is, het nie een aan die daaropvolgende 416th Combat Missions deelgeneem nie.

Die "Geskiedenis van die vliegtuig A-26" bevat verskeie belangrike dokumente wat verband hou met die beplanning en suksesvolle uitvoering van die Combat Evaluation van die A-26 Invader in die ETO.

Een van hierdie dokumente (#64) is op 18 Mei 1944 "Memorandum vir adjunkhoof van die lugpersoneel (brigadier-generaal Timberlake)", "Onderwerp: Inleiding van A-26-vliegtuie aan die Europese teater". Hierdie memorandum bevat 'n uiteensetting van die versoeke om agtien (18) A-26's (deel van 1/3 bombardier (glas) neus (A-26C), 2/3 geweer (soliede) neus (A-26B)) en 18 opgeleide spanne gereed vir vertrek teen 1 Augustus 1944. Kolonel John R. Kelly is die projekbeampte vir hierdie beweging aangewys om die projek te monitor en saam met die vliegtuie oorsee te gaan. Die memorandum merk verder op dat 'n oorspronklike idee om die 18 A -26's deur die lugvervoerkommando na die ETO te laat vervoer, vertragings in die evaluering van bestryding sou veroorsaak omdat dit twee afsonderlike opleidingsperiodes sou verg - een vir die bemanning van die lugvervoerkommando om die vliegtuig te vervoer (sedert hulle was nog nie bekend met die A-26 nie), die tweede vir die B-26-gevegspanne wat reeds in die teater was. 'N Beter plan was om ervare tweemotorige vliegtuiginstrukteurvlieëniers wat tans in die Verenigde State was, vinnig op te lei voor die beplande vertrek op 1 Augustus 1944, om die A-26's na Engeland te laat ry, die bestrydingsevalueringsopdragte te vlieg en dan te help met die omskakeling. program van die groepe wat reeds in Europa was.

In afdeling 3 van hierdie memorandum word die planne vir die daaropvolgende uiteengesit "Omskakeling van B-26-groepe in die Verenigde Koninkryk na A-26-tipe vliegtuie", insluitend paragraaf 3.a soos volg: "Vier (4) A-26 mobiele opleidingseenhede, bestaande uit nege (9) tot elf (11) instrukteurs en volledige mockups, torings, waarnemingsstasies, rekenaars, hidrouliese stelsels, ens., Is onderweg na die Verenigde Koninkryk vier (4) A-26-vliegtuie wat aan een groep toegewys moet word totdat die grondpersoneel omgeskakel is, waarna dit saam met die mobiele opleidingseenheid na die volgende groep oorgeplaas moet word. ".

Hierdie memorandum het waarskynlik die aanvang van spesiale bestellings nr. 205, projek 3AF JY 30 klas TM 0725 veroorsaak, wat die 18 spanne tot die A-26 ETO Combat Evaluation Project Squadron gevorm het. [Roeder, p13]

Die meeste mans van die Project Squadron het met hul A-26 opleiding Mei tot Julie 1944 in die VSA begin met die 335ste Bombardment Group (Medium), 'n Martin B-26 Marauder-gevegspan Operational Training Unit (OTU) oorgangskool by Barksdale Field, Louisiana . Byvoorbeeld, Mei, Junie en Julie 1944 Individuele vlugrekords vir luitenant John A. Buskirk, 'n vlieënier van die Project Squadron, toon sy intensiewe A-26-opleidingsure. Additional training documents are available on the Jack Buskirk Photo and Document Collection page.

On 1-May-1944, the 335th Bomb Group was redesignated as the 331st Army Air Force Base Unit Replacement Training Unit (Medium Bombardment) ("331st AAFBU RTU (MB)"). The Squadrons were also renamed as follows: Hqs, 335th Bombardment Group (M) was designated Section "N". The "Bomb Crew Section", responsible for the training of Combat Crews for overseas duty, was designated Section "S". The 474th, 475th, 476th and 477th Squadrons were renamed Sections "O", "P", "T" and "U" respectively. All "Section" designations were later renamed to "Squadron" on 15-Jun-1944. On 11-Jun-1944, Squadron "F" was also established to train Free French Air Forces crews in the B-26.

The Group and Squadron histories of the Barksdale Field RTU for the months of May, June and July 1944 identify a number of personnel involved in the state-side A-26 training, including:

The June 1944 Squadron "O" history notes "Squadron "S" were still in need of flying personnel and the following named officers were transferred. Captain J. K. Coleman, 1st Lt. F. S. Brewster, 1st Lt. R. C. Hanna, 1st Lt. J. E. Burk, 1st Lt. H. R. Nevitt, 2nd Lt. J. A. Buskirk, 2nd Lt. W. R. Heinke, and 2nd Lt. C. J. Brown." And the June 1944 Squadron "T" history shows "Several more men were transferred to Squadron "S", the Combat Crew Section of the Group, to go into the A-26 unit which if now training for overseas duty. To this unit we lost one of the original Squadron members. 2nd Lieut. Lewis W. Dennis, a bombardier instructor. This Officer was on the original activation orders. Another Officer, 2nd Lieut. John J. Chalmers, had been with the Squadron since December of 1942 and was also transferred to the A-26 Unit."

Barksdale Field RTU (MB)'s monthly historical summary for July 1944 notes "Eighteen (18) combat crews completed training in A-26 planes on this field, and were sent to a staging area. Colonel John R. Kelly [of Squadron "S"] was the Commanding Officer of this unit. Two other crew members were Major Howard Burhanna and Lt. Barton D. Stebbins, both of whom were formerly with Squadron "P". Major Burhanna served in the Carribean area."

Additional personnel known to be involved in A-26 training included: 1st Lt. W. W. Mills, S/Sgt Neppes, Lt Phillip L. Russell, S/Sgt Walter Mifflin, Sgt Cecil L. Roberts, S/Sgts Herbert Sunderland, Charles Houston Corbitt, Jr., Mike Williams.

Left: Lt. Claude Brown (on right) and S/Sgt Herbert Sunderland (on left) during A-26 training at Barksdale Field, LA

Right: "Group photo of the First A-26 Combat Crews, (G1685-331 A.A.F.) (6 July 44) Barksdale Field, LA."
Back Row: Lts Claude Brown (7th from left) and John Buskirk (8th from left)
Front Row: S/Sgts Herbert Sunderland (2nd from left), Mike Williams (6th from left), Charles Corbitt, Jr. (8th from left)
A B-26 Marauder was used for these photographs because the A-26 Invader was still considered Classified.

(Left: Herb Sunderland Photo and Document Collection
Right: ww2buddies.com Pilot - Lt Claude J 'Brownie' Brown)

Sadly, A-26 training, as with any other aircraft, often involved accidents three were documented during the A-26 training at Barksdale Field RTU.

As noted in the Squadron "P" June, 1944 monthly history, "On the twenty eighth of June 1st Lt. W. W. Mills in an A-26 type airplane was forced to perform a 'Belly Landing' due to a malfunction of the landing gear locking mechanism. Considerable damage was done to the ship but neither he nor S/Sgt Neppes, engineer on the plane, were injured."
AAR 44-6-27-63 shows the accident actually occured on 27 June 1944 and the aircraft was A-26B 41-39121. The crew included 1st Lt William W. Mills (Pilot, ASN O-793815) and Gunner S/Sgt Charles E. Neppes (33153844). Both crew members continued as members of the A-26 ETO Combat Evaluation Project Squadron, flying some of the Combat Evaluation Missions from Great Dunmow, England in September 1944. This Accident Report noted that this was the second failure of this type.

Pilot 2nd Lt Phillip L. Russell (ASN O-683591) and Gunner S/Sgt Walace (NMI) Mifflin (39184309) of Squadron "S" were both killed July 11, 1944 in a training accident in A-26B Invader 43-22253. They were on a Long range training flight from Barksdale Field, Louisiana to Bradley Field, Connecticut to Portland, Maine. When they arrived at the Portland Municipal Airport, a fog bank had covered the south edge of the airport. While attempting to circle, Russell made a steep right turn, flying into the fog bank, where his right wing struck the ground cartwheeling the airplane into a group of buildings. Sadly, not only was the flight crew killed, but also a number of civilians in these buildings where killed and injured. See Aircraft Accident Report AAR 45-7-11-25 for additional information.

Also, the July 1944 monthly history of Squadron "T" describes the following non-flying accident: "The second accident, which happened the next day, 18 July 1944, as a non-flying accident. Sgt. Cecil L. Roberts, an armament man of the Squadron, was assisting in trouble shooting a defective bomb release light circuit on an A-26 aircraft. The main landing gear collapsed, and in an attempt to get clear, Sgt Roberts was pinned beneath the right bomb bay door. The gear was found to be faulty, as down locks were not installed. The locks had been lost and were on order. They would normally have been on, preventing the accident. Sgt. Roberts was severely injured, but latest reports from the hospital state that his condition is greatly improved."
The A-26B-5-DT Invader was Serial Number 43-22254. In addition to the injured Sgt Roberts, Armorer Inspectors who were working on the aircraft included S/Sgt Ralph E. Burson (ASN 35043994), Sgt William L. Groover (35350430) and Sgt Frank L. Pondolfino (32369845), all were not injured. The aircraft was sent for repairs to the 8th Sub-Depot. (AAR 45-7-18-11)

As noted above in the Barksdale Field RTU July 1944 summary, "Eighteen (18) combat crews completed training in A-26 planes on this field, and were sent to a staging area." This staging area was at Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia where crews and aircraft were stationed prior to their overseas ETO assignment.

First Lt John A. "Jack" Buskirk was one of the Project Squadron pilots and his Individual Flight Records (IFR) show he was transferred on 24 July 1944 [from Barksdale to Hunter] and he ferried an A-26B model Invader to the ETO between August 7 and 24, 1944. The ferry route was: Hunter Field, Savannah, GA -to- Dow Field, Bangor, ME -to- Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada -to- Bluie West-3, Greenland -to- Meeks Airfield, Reykjavik, Iceland -to- Nutts Corner, North Ireland -to- Great Dunmow, Essex, England.


July and August, 1944 Individual Flight Records - 1Lt John A. "Jack" Buskirk
(Jack Buskirk Photo and Document Collection)

On August 24, 1944, eight Douglas A-26 Invaders being ferried from the USA, were gathered at Nutts Corner, North Ireland waiting to fly to their new base: Serial Numbers 41-39187, 41-39189, 41-39193, 41-39196, 41-39197, 41-39200, 41-39201 and 41-39202. Aircraft 41-39193 and 41-39200 were bombardier (glass) nosed model A-26C's and the remaining 6 were gun (solid) nosed A-26B models.

They were joined by A-26B Invader 41-39143, which had been in England since 22-Jul-1944 and was sent to Nutts Corner to lead the flight to USAAF Station AAF-164, Great Dunmow, Essex, England, home base of the Martin B-26 Maurader 386th Bombardment Group (M).

The flight of nine A-26's successfully made the trip to Great Dunmow, but unfortunately encountered bad weather and slippery runway conditions upon landing. Three aircraft (41-39193, 41-39201 and 41-39143) were damaged. The following transcription from Aircraft Accident Report (AAR) AAR 45-8-24-540 describes the landing:

Note that aircraft are identified by the last 3 digits of their Serial Numbers (S/N) (e.g. "143" is S/N 41-39143, "196" is S/N 41-39196, etc.). Also, the above references aircraft No. 195 (S/N 41-39195), however according to its Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC), 41-39195 was an A-26C model and did not arrive in England until 13-Sep-1944. I believe the correct aircaft S/N is 41-39197 (A-26B), which arrived on 24-Aug-1944 per its IARC.

A description of this event by Lt Col. Harry G. "Tad" Hankey (386th BG Deputy Group Commander and Group Air Executive Officer as of July 1944 and 386th BG Aircraft Accident Review Board President (AAR 45-8-24-540)), originally published in "The Story of the Crusaders: the 386th Bomb Group (M) in World War II" and re-published or summarized in subsequent publications (e.g. Thompson, p76 Roeder, p14-15 Bowman, p116), differs from both the information contained in AAR 45-8-24-540 (documented immediately after the accident) and research by Roeder (p15-17).


AAR 45-8-24-540 does not list all personnel of the nine aircraft, but does identify the crews of the 3 damaged aircraft as:
41-39143 - Lt Col Franklin W. "Frank" Harris (Pilot, ASN O-348673) and 1st Lt William P. Anton (Navigator, O-796939)
41-39201 - 2nd Lt Mark L. Robb (Pilot, O-745182) and Sgt Millard A. Presson (Gunner, 34507829)
41-39193 - Maj Collins H. Ferris (Pilot, O-411820), 1st Lt Robert C. Hanna (Navigator, O-732466) and S/Sgt Dominic J. Rio (Gunner, 13007285).

Based on additional sources, the following men were also in this flight from the USA, but on which aircraft is unknown:
1st Lt Francis S. Brewster (Pilot), Capt Claude J. Brown (Pilot) with S/Sgt Herbert E. Sunderland (Gunner) and 1st Lt John A. Buskirk (Pilot).

A-26C-2-DL S/N 41-39193
Rear caption: "This Douglas A-26 was badly damaged when it made a crash Landing at the 386Th Bomb Group base in
Great Dunmow, Essex, England on 26 August 1944." [actually, 24 August]
(NARA ID: 342-FH-3A15463-70021AC)

386th BG, 553rd BS Combat Evaluation

The August 1944 386th Bomb Group (M), 553rd Bomb Squadron monthly history includes the note: "Twelve A-26 airplanes arrived during August and were assigned to this organization. Also assigned to this Squadron were one line chief and seventeen crew chiefs for the A-26's. In addition, twenty officers and fifteen gunners - crews of the A-26 planes - were attached to this organization." and the September 1944 squadron history further shows "Three A-26 crews were assigned on 12 September 1944. The pilots were Lts Sutton, Heinke and Turner."

Aside from these three pilots, specific Project Squadron aircraft serial numbers and names of the soldiers are not documented in the 386th Bomb Group or 553rd Bomb Squadron histories.
The individual Combat Evaluation Mission documents do provide the names of the crewmembers who participated in each Mission, along with the Aircraft Numbers.


Upon arrival at Great Dunmow, the A-26 aircraft were painted with 386th Bomb Group (M) tail markings
and assigned 553rd Bomb Squadron Fuselage Codes (AN) and Call Letters.
As shown in this photo of 5 planes, aircraft S/N 41-39187 (left of center) does not yet have a Fuselage Code.
41-39200 (center of photo) was assigned as AN-L.
Aircraft 41-39202 (far right) was AN-K and already had the horizontal yellow 386th BG band on the tail.
(Rust, p114)

At 1500 hours on August 30, 1944, Capt Thomas L. Adams (Pilot, ASN O-670482), with crew members T/Sgt F. McDaniels (Crew Chief, 6988826) and S/Sgt Harry J. Jacobs (Gunner, 6953109), was attempting to take off on a "Local test hop" in A-26B Invader 41-39145, but before the aircraft was airborne, the nose wheel started to shimmy. Adams cut the throttles, but the nose strut bent back and partially collapsed, causing damage to both propellers when they hit the ground. The cause was found to be due to the fact that the nose strut shimmy dampener lock pin was not completely seated. None of the crew were injured. See AAR 45-8-30-522 for more information.

The May 18, 1944 "Memorandum for Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Brigadier General Timberlake)", "Subject: Introduction of A-26 Aircraft to the European Theatre" document #64 (included in the "Case History of A-26 Airplane") details the request for eighteen (18) A-26's (proportion of 1/3 (6) bombardier (glass) nose (A-26C), 2/3 (12) gun (solid) nose (A-26B)), giving rise to the common belief (as noted in other published accounts such as Bowman, p116 Roeder, p13 Thompson, p40) that only 18 Invaders were used in the ETO Combat Evaluation. However, due to accidents or other reasons which eliminated some A/C from service, 24 Invaders have been identified as being sent overseas for participation in the ETO Combat Evaluation and subsequent Conversion Training. 4 were A-26C (bombardier/glass nosed) models (41-39193, 41-39195, 41-39199 and 41-39200), the remaining 20 were A-26B (gun/solid nosed) models.

Combat Evaluation Missions

Eight Combat Evaluation Missions were flown in September 1944 using the Douglas A-26 Invaders by the Project Squadron crews attached to the 553rd Bomb Squadron.
The brief mission summaries below are extracted from the September 1944 553rd Bomb Squadron history. Additional information is available on the individual mission web pages.

Evaluation Mission # 1 (386th BG #269) -- 6 September 1944 -- Brest, France
Having completed their oversees training, the new A-26 planes went out on their first operational mission against the enemy this date. Thirteen air- craft were dispatched and thirteen aircraft attacked enemy strong-points at Brest. There was no enemy opposition. 1000 lb. bombs were dropped with fair to good results.


On 8 September 1944, Field Order Number 261 detailed the attack of 13 A-26's against target ZH-52 in Holland. However, this mission was never planned or executed.


Evaluation Mission # 2 (386th BG #272) -- 10 September 1944 -- Custine, France
A-26 aircraft continue their operations against the enemy by dropping 1000 lb. bombs on the bridge at Nancy [Custine]. Results were fair to excellent. Major Burhanna led this A-26 mission.


Evaluation Mission # 3 (386th BG #274) -- 11 September 1944 -- Metz, France
With Major Ferris leading, the A-26 aircraft attacked Metz, dropping 1000 lb. bombs with good results. This was the third operational mission for the A-26's.


Evaluation Mission # 4 (386th BG #276) -- 11 September 1944 -- Leeuwarden, Holland
Again this afternoon, the A-26's were out, bombing Leeuwarden. Good to excellent results were obtained. Major Burhanna led this formation of 12 aircraft which dropped 250 lb. bombs.


Evaluation Mission # 5 (386th BG #277) -- 12 September 1944 -- Scheld, Germany
Fortifications at Scheld were bombed by our A-26 aircraft. 1000 lb. bombs were dropped with good to excellent results.


Two of the aircraft during the September 12th Mission collided as they were starting to taxi from their hardstands to form up in line for take off. 1st Lt Lee J. Sutton, Jr., with Bombardier 1st Lt Adolphus S. Callaway and Gunnner S/Sgt Delbert C. Gilliam, assigned to fly the #2 position on this mission in A/C 41-39190, was entering the perimeter track behind the lead aircraft. To Sutton's left, 2nd Lt Dan O. Turner, Jr with Gunner S/Sgt Manuel R. Reyes in A/C 41-39185 also started out from his hardstand onto the perimeter track. Turner's windshield had moisture on it which Turner was unable to clean off, and Turner was taxiing into the sun, the combination of which made visibility poor causing Turner to not see Sutton's aircraft and collide with it.
Turner did not take off for this mission and Sutton had to abort after take off.
See AAR 45-9-12-529.


Evaluation Mission # 6 (386th BG #279) -- 14 September 1944 -- Brest, France
Stront points at Brest were bombed by our A-26 aircraft today. 1000 lb. bombs were dropped with good to excellent results on these enemy positions. Major Burhanna led this formation of 11 aircraft.


Evaluation Mission # 7 (386th BG #280) -- 16 September 1944 -- Bergen-op-Zoom, Holland
Excellet results were obtained by our A-26 aircraft as they dropped 1000 lb. bombs on the Bergen-op-Zoom Dike. This mission was led by Major Ferris.


Evaluation Mission # 8 (386th BG #282) -- 19 September 1944 -- Duren, Germany
Our A-26 aircraft attacked this same target today, the Duren marshalling yards. They dropped 500 lb. bombs with good to excellent results.


September, 1944 Individual Flight Records - 1Lt John A. "Jack" Buskirk (left) and S/Sgt. Herb E. Sunderland (right)
(Jack Buskirk and Herb Sunderland Photo and Document Collections)

In his book "US 9th Air Force Bases in Essex 1943-44", Martin W. Bowman notes on page 118 "Thereafter the Invaders were 'returned to depots' with a list of modifications that would delay full deployment by the 386th Group until 1945." Similarly, Barnett Young's "The Story of the Crusaders: the 386th Bomb Group (M) in World War II" book, page 104 states "At that time the decision was made to pull the airplanes already in England out of combat for major modifications. They were flown away to the depot and the 386th went back to the Marauders." and Scott Thompson states "Before the group moved, the A-26s were flown to an air depot for further assignment." on page 76 in "Douglas A-26 and B-26 Invader". These statements might imply that all of these ETO Combat Evaluation A-26's were grounded immediately after the conclusion of the 8 Combat Evaluation Missions. However, at least 21 of these Invaders were actually used to train the A-20 Havoc equipped Bomb Groups, starting with the 416th Bombardment Group (L) at the beginning of October 1944.

416th BG A-26 Conversion Training

On September 30, 1944, Sixteen of the Project Squadron Invaders transferred to Station A-55 Melun/Villaroche, France to begin training the 416th Bomb Group. 5 additional aircraft arrived over the next few days, with the first A-26 Mobile Training Unit arriving October 6th, 1944.

The original plan was for one six-crew flight and one-fourth of the engineering personnel from each Squadron to be taken off operations and trained on the Invader. Due to multiple difficulties, the decision was made that, when this first cadre of trainees had completed training, one entire Squadron would be taken off operations for training. The 670th Bomb Squadron was the first, starting October 13th and completing on the 18th. The 671st Squadron was next from 18 to 29 October. This Squadron's training was held up by bad weather that limited flying between 20-25 October. On October 30th, the 669th BS began their A-26 training, completely converting in 5 days. The 668th likely trained during this same period because the A-26 conversion training was considered complete for the entire 416th Bomb Group on November 5th, 1944.

The 5th of November also marked another milestone in the 416th BG history. On this day all but a few glass-nosed A-20 Havocs were flown back to England and two days later (due to weather delays in England), the first A-26 Invaders assigned to the 416th landed at A-55. These were immediately given Acceptance checks and were operationally ready by November 9th.

On 11 November 1944 the Project Squadron A-26's, some of the Project Squadron Transition Crews and the Mobile Training Units left Melun to begin the conversion training for the 409th Bomb Group.

Due to the bad weather, no Combat Missions were flown by the 416th Bomb Group between October 18 and November 16, 1944. Mission # 159 against a Supply Depot at Hageunau, France on November 17, 1944, was the first Combat Mission flown by the 416th using 28 A-26 Invaders.

Some of the Project Squadron Transition Crew Members did not move to the 409th and were flying Combat Missions with the 416th BG starting with Missions # 159 and 160 (17 and 18 November, 1944). Some others likely did transfer to the 409th and possibly other groups, but later returned to the 416th BG and began flying on 416th Combat Missions 164 (Dec 2, 1944) and 196 or 197 (Feb 1 and 2, 1945).


See the "Conversion from A-20 to A-26 type aircraft" for more details on the 416th Bomb Group Conversion,
including the conversion memo from Col Aylesworth and Group and Squadron History extracts.

The following Accidents and Incidents occurred during the 416th BG A-26 Conversion Training

A-26 ETO Combat Evaluation Evaluation Mission pages:
Evaluation Mission # 1 (386th BG #269) -- 6 September 1944 -- Brest, France
Evaluation Mission # 2 (386th BG #272) -- 10 September 1944 -- Custine, France
Evaluation Mission # 3 (386th BG #274) -- 11 September 1944 -- Metz, France
Evaluation Mission # 4 (386th BG #276) -- 11 September 1944 -- Leeuwarden, Holland
Evaluation Mission # 5 (386th BG #277) -- 12 September 1944 -- Scheld, Germany
Evaluation Mission # 6 (386th BG #279) -- 14 September 1944 -- Brest, France
Evaluation Mission # 7 (386th BG #280) -- 16 September 1944 -- Bergen-op-Zoom, Holland
Evaluation Mission # 8 (386th BG #282) -- 19 September 1944 -- Duren, Germany


Museum Info

Ansel M. Stroud Jr. Military History & Weapons Museum (Jackson Barracks)
View Map

Tues - Fri: 9 AM - 5 PM
Sat - 9 AM - 2 pm

If St Claude Gate closed, proceed north around the block to N. Claiborne/W. Judge Perez Gate.

After hours & weekends, arrangements can be made by calling 504-278-8024.

Louisiana Maneuvers & Military Museum (Camp Beauregard)
View Map

After hours & weekends, arrangements can be made by calling 318-641-5733.

After hours & weekend arrangements can be made by calling 318-641-5733.

There is no cost for admission however, all exhibit development is funded exclusively through your generous donations.


CAF’s Douglas A-26 Invader Returns to Flight

“Lil Twister,” the third A-26 in the Commemorative Air Force, recorded only minor squawks.

The third Douglas A-26 Invader in the Commemorative Air Force fleet, Lil Twister, took its first two flights on November 1, 2020, at the Guthrie Municipal Airport in Oklahoma. Originally scheduled for October 23, the flights culminate the efforts of 21 years of restoration work by the airplane’s supporters in the Sierra Hotel A-26 Sponsor Group based in Guthrie. The first flight lasted 11 minutes and returned with a few minor squawks to resolve prior to the second flight, which clocked an hour. Commanding both flights was pilot Mark Novak.

The Commemorative Air Force posted videos from the two flights, and CAF marketing director Leah Block indicated that the organization is looking to bring all three Invaders together sometime—somewhere—in 2021. The Sierra Hotel group weathered setbacks during the long restoration process, including a tornado that hit the hangar in which the project was maintained.

The Douglas A-26 Invader entered service during the latter part of World War II, but it saw action in two later conflicts—the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Douglas Aircraft Company built 2,503 of the light bombers (A-26 and later B-26 designations), with a long list of modifications that kept the subsequent models relevant and on active duty.

Actually, Lil Twister is a temporary name, according to James Dudnelly, SH A-26 Support Group leader. “Our first flight on November 1 only had two squawks: the number one engine didn’t quite develop full takeoff power and the control wheels [were] deflected about 30 degrees to the right to maintain level flight,” Dudnelly told Flying. “We solved the power issue with a simple prop governor adjustment and are still working on the control wheel problem. Our test pilot did not consider the control wheel thing a grounding write up, so after a quick ground run to check the engine power, he opted for another…45-minute flight. We are planning on touring with the aircraft [and] doing airshows. However we can legally operate the aircraft to raise funding, [and] that’s what we’ll be doing. The aircraft was built at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant in Tulsa in late 1944, as Douglas serial number 28922. It was accepted by the US Army Air Corp in early 1945. It had an interesting and varied history—its service took it around the world and then back to Oklahoma again. Its last flight before being grounded was in August 1994, so it had not felt the air under its wings for more than 26 years.”


Douglas A-26 / B-26 Invader

The USAAF issued a requirement for an attack aircraft in 1940, before it had information on World War II combat operations in Europe. Consequently, three prototypes were ordered in differing configurations: the Douglas XA-26 attack bomber with a bomb-aimer's position the XA-26A heavily-armed night-fighter and the XA-26B attack aircraft with a 75mm cannon. After flight testing and careful examination of reports from Europe and the Pacific, the A-26B Invader was ordered into production, and initial deliveries of the 1,355 built were made in April 1944.

The A-26B had six 12.7mm machine-guns in the nose, remotely controlled dorsal and ventral turrets each with two 12.7mm guns, and up to 10 more 12.7mm guns in underwing and underfuselage packs. Heavily armoured, and able to carry up to 1814kg of bombs, the A-26B was potentially a formidable weapon. Moreover, its two, 1491kW Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines conferred a maximum speed of 571km/h, making the A-26 the fastest US bomber of World War II. Invaders'remained in USAF service until well into the 1970s.

Missions with the 9th Air Force in Europe began in November 1944, and at the same time the type became operational in the Pacific. The A-26C with a bomb-aimer's position and only two guns in the nose entered service in 1945, but saw only limited use before World War II ended. A-26C production totalled 1,091. With little employment ahead of them, so far as anyone could see, one A-26B and one A-26C were converted to XJD-1 configuration, this pair being followed by 150 A-26Cs converted as target tugs for the US Navy with the designation JD-1 some were converted later to launch and control missile test vehicles and drones, under the designation JD-1D. These designations became UB-26J and DB-26J in 1962.

USAF A-26B and A-26C aircraft became B-26B and B-26C in 1948, and retained this designation until 1962. Both versions saw extensive service in the Korean War, and were again used in a counter-insurgency role in Vietnam. A special COIN version with very heavy armament and extra power was developed by On Mark Engineering in 1963, a prototype being designated YB-26K and named Counter Invader. Subsequently about 70 B-26s were converted to B-26K standard, 40 later being redesignated A-26A. Some were deployed in Vietnam, and others were supplied to friendly nations under the Military Assistance Program. B-26s were used also for training (TB-26B and TB-26C), transport (CB-26B freighter and VB-26B staff transport), RPV control (DB-26C), night reconnaissance. (FA-26C, from 1948 redesignated RB-26C) and missile guidance research (EB-26C). After the war, many A-26s were converted to executive, survey, photographic and even fire-fighting aircraft. Brief details of the two semi-production marks are given in the variants list.

At this plane, they use to called, " the widowmaker" i guess why?

I was a tow reel operator on B-26's during 1951 to 1953.
I was in the 4th tow target squadron based at Georgge AFB in Victorville
Califotnia and also flew at our remote base,Larson AFB, in Moses Lake
Washington. We towed both banner and sleeve targets for the sixth army
On the west coast.it was always an exciting aircraft and very versatile.
Great memories!

I crewed the B26 then A26s at England AFB supporting the training of what would become the Nimrods in Thailand. I truly regret not getting to go to Thailand with a great plane and a great bunch of guys. Tail #641 is in Tucson at the Pima Air Museum and I crewed that aircraft.

I was an instructor navigator in the A-26A flying out of England AFB, LA, '68-69 for aircrews heading for NKP, Thailand. It was the best and most challenging job a nav could have. As a right seater, you were actually a co-pilot controlling mixtures, armament switches, coordinating with the pilot on almost everything. Some navs with more time in the aircraft than I did actually did take-offs and landings. I did get lots of stick time in the air. One of our aircraft is on display at Hurlburt Field, FL. Every time I see it I get homesick.

I was a plane captain on a Invader with 800 hrs flying in one from 52-55. It was for towing for the navy at Gitmo VU-10. Navy bought 150 from the AF for this type mission. The A-26c was renamed navy JD-1. A good airplane, would always take you and bring you back.

Hi Folks , Trying to find A-26 pictures during the fifties at Newark Airport New jersey Air National Guard. Thanks

stationed in NKP Non Khom Phanom Thiland 1965-66 saw some at work there. Sweet.

Stumbled onto the site and what great stories. I currently crew on an Invader on the airshow circuit repping the 13th B /S during the Korean War and have done so for 10 years. To those of you who have either flown or turned wrenches on these beautiful birds, we also honor your experiences and efforts. To be around an Invader is to be smitten, something we all share whether it be 'then' or now.

Always enjoy hearing from Invader folks. Groete.

FLEW THE B-26 AT K-9 IN KOREA. FANTASTIC AIRCRAFT. FLEW THE F-84 AND B-57 LATER. NOTHING COMPETES WITH THE B-26 FOR A REAL FLYING MACHINE. SOMETIMES WE WOULD DOG FIGHT WITH THE ROK F-51s FROM THE OTHER FIELD AT PUSAN AND WE WOULD WIN EVERY TIME BELOW 10,000 FT. ABOVE THAT IT WAS NO CONTEST.

Our squadron had 2 B-26's which had been modified to towtarget aircraft. I was a tow target operator for 3596 Training Squadron(Combat Crew) which was formed at the beginning of the Korean War, June 1950, at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
We towed 6x9 flag(banner) targets for aerial gunnery at 12000, or 20000 ft. We started with F-51's, converted to F-80's, and then to F-86's. We even tried to tow a series of canard winged gliders, with not much success. Hundreds of hours in the B-26, both in aerial gunnery missions, and also we flew cross country to retrieve any live ammunition from some of our aircraft which didn't make it back from cross-country trips. I was also an instructor at the Armament School at Lowry Field, Denver Co. Was sent TDY to Nellis for the USAF gunner meet in March-April 1950, and then was reassigned to Nellis at the start of the Korean War.

+I WAS A PILOT WITH THE 391ST BG IN EUROPE WHEN THEY PHASED OUT THE B-26. I RECALL WHEN THEY DELIVERED THE FIRST A-26 TO OUR GROUP--A REAL FINE AIRCRAFT. THE GROUP AND SQUADRON LEADERS FLEW WITH THE NAVIGATOR IN THE PLEXIGLAS NOSE--ALL OTHERS CARRIED JUST A CREW OF TWO- THE PILOT AND THE GUNNER. ---WE FLEW MISSIONS INTO THE ALPS--ALSO WAS ATTACKED BY EARLY GERMAN JET AIRCRFT--THEY WOULD MAKE JUST ONE PASS---OUR GUNNERS USING THE REMOTELY CONTROLLED GUNS FOUND IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO TRACK THE JETS..WE DID SOME BOMBING OF RAIL JUNCTIONS AND BRIDGES. EXCELLENT BOMBING RESULTS. WONDERFUL AIRPLANE --CARRIED HEAVY BOMB LOAD . AFTER THE WAR ENDED IN EUROPE, WE TRAINED FOR LOW LEVEL FLYING BEFORE BEING ASSIGNED TO THE PACIFIC VIA THE AFRICA TO SOUTH AMERICA ROUTE OVER THE ATLANTIC. LARGE FUEL TANKS INSTALLED IN THE BOMB BAY..READY TO GO WHEN THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC ENDED--LEFT OUT PLANES IN HOLLAND AND SAILED HOME ON A LIBERTY SHIP.
STILL HAVE FOND MEMORIES OF THOSE B-26 AIRPLANES.

The first time I saw this aircraft, only the big square rudder and fin were sticking up above a hangar as I was a million miles away, marching in formation as an aviation cadet at Maxwell field Alabama.
Troop Carrier Command saw me in C-47's & later C-46's in England and France. After WW-2 it was Reserve flying in C-46's again, and later, navigating Douglas DC-4's with Alaska Airlines on the Anchorage-Tokyo run.

In January 1952 I saw the B-26 again at Kimpo airfield, Korea. I flew 41 missions as navigator in RB-26 aircrafts during Korean war-----12th Tactical Recon Squadron. Although I was not at all new to flying, but the more I flew in that Douglas creation the more I admired the Douglas aircraft designers. Rugged and reliable, you could depend upon it to get you out of a tight situation FAST, when you badly needed it. A truly impressive aircraft.
The only fault I had with it was it was a terrificly NOISY aircraft---every cylinder of those beautiful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines, exhausting directly out into the atmosphere--and against the crew's eardrums.

But good 'Ol Uncle Sam has issued me excellent hearing aids, and at age 86 I'm still navigating a new pair of skis, and also bicycling and hiking. I'm not complaining at all, and what a splendid batch of memories I have!

My father, Carl Lindberg (a B-25 pilot from WWII), flew B-26s in 24 night intruder combat missions as a member of the 37th Bomb Squadron in Korea. He was awarded his second DFC and his fifth, sixth and seventh Air Medal for various actions during this inherently hazardous night flying during the period from 03DEC52 to 07NOV53. Dad was proud of his Korean War service, grew to like the B-26 almost as much as the B-25, but was unhappy that this war was forgotteen by many or just called a "Police Action".
Dad retired in 1969 as a LTC and died in February, 2005.

I was an aircraft electrician and had just got stationed at Itazuke AB,Japan and I got sent to Bien Hoa, Vietnam TDY to the 1st Air Commando outfit and when I walked on to the flight line it was like I went back in history as the front line bomber we had was the Douglas B-26. Let me tell you this little aircraft was a jewel in my eyes. We had two glass nose, then we had a mixture of 26's with 6 and 8 guns in the nose and all of them had the 3 in each wing. I was with them for 6 months and enjoyed every day. The only thing I regret is that I never got a flight in one.

I was an aircraft electrician and had just got stationed at Itazuke AB,Japan and I got sent to Bien Hoa, Vietnam TDY in January 1963to the 1st Air Commando outfit and when I walked on to the flight line it was like I went back in history as the front line bomber we had was the Douglas B-26. Let me tell you this little aircraft was a jewel in my eyes. We had two glass nose, then we had a mixture of 26's with 6 and 8 guns in the nose and all of them had the 3 in each wing. I was with them for 6 months and enjoyed every day. The only thing I regret is that I never got a flight in one.

I flew 156 combat missions during 1968 and 1969 in the A-26A (B-26K). A great airplane for he mission we had. 609th Special Operation Sq. In late 1969 Air Force retired the A-26's and replaced them with AC-130 gunships.

A follow up:
Hopefully this information helps.
34th Squadron, 17th Bomb Group.

I flew as a gunner on B-26's at K-8, Korea in 1952-53 for 50+ combat missions. I then returned to Langley AFB and flew B-26's there until the aircraft was replaced by B-57's in 1955. A great aircraft and a great experience.

One of the most responsive and fun to fly airplanes around. We had them in Korea and the 1st Tow Target Squadron, towing for the Army at Ft. Bliss, El Psao, Texas. It had power to spare and had excellent armorment.

My father was working at Douglas Long Beach during WW II when he first was assigned to the B-26B engineering department. He and his co-workers drew the full size drawings for production of the B-26B. He worked on all the drawings for the cockpit, oil cooler intakes, and wing guns. These guns originally had "visor" or "eyelid" movable covers over them but this approach was dropped before production. He took our family to the Douglas plant for an open-house where a test pilot flew a B-26B that took off from a runway next to the viewing stand after locking the brakes and getting up to max power before letting off the brakes. The nose came up immediately and it was several hundred feet off the ground when it passed in front of the crowd. What an airplane! It had a laminar flow wing section that had to be so smooth he had to wear soft leather "booties" when on the wing taking measurements.