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United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

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Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber at Dodge City AAF, 1944:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber at Dodge City AAF, 1944

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber damaged:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber damaged

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber damaged:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber damaged
Cockpit of the Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber at the Wright Field static test lab:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber at the Wright Field static test lab

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber in the factory:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber in the factory

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber in the factory:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber in the factory

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber, over Normandy:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber, over Normandy

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber at Youks-les-Bains airfield:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber at Youks-les-Bains airfield
United States Army in World War II, Pictorial Record, The War Against Germany and Italy: Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas, 1951, pg 44
Martin B-26A Marauder Mk I bomber:
United States' Martin B-26A Marauder Mk I bomber
Martin B-26A Marauder Mk I bomber:
United States' Martin B-26A Marauder Mk I bomber
Martin B-26A Marauder Mk I bomber:
United States' Martin B-26A Marauder Mk I bomber
Martin B-26 Marauder Mk II bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder Mk II bomber
Martin B-26 Marauder Mk II bomber:
United States' Martin B-26 Marauder Mk II bomber
Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:

Martin B-26 Marauder bomber:

Design

On January 25, 1939 / March 19396, the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) put out a specification, Circular Proposal 39-6406, for a medium bomber that had high speed, long range, and could fly at a high altitude.4

The Martin Model 179 Marauder was designed for the United States Air Corps on July 5, 1939 and went straight into production without a prototype or trials.1,2,6 The head designer was Peyton M. Magruder.2,4,6 A total of 1,100 were ordered in September 1939.2,4

Undercarriage

The engine nacelles housed the wheels of the tricycle undercarriage.1,3 The nose wheel retracted towards the rear, under the cockpit.1

Control Surfaces

To save on weight the flying control surfaces were wood ribs with fabric covers.1

Wings

The wings were placed high in the fuselage.4,6

Tail

Initially the tail was of a twin fin design, but this was changed to a single fin to give the tail gunner a better view.6

Prototype

None made.1

Production

The first production model flew on November 25, 1940 (November 25, 19413).1,2,3,4 In February 1941 the first four were delivered to the Army.6

The B-26 Marauder cost $261,000 in 1940 and $192,000 in 1944 to build.1

  • Martin B-26: 2013,6
  • Martin B-26A: 1393,4,6
  • Martin B-26B: 1,8832,3,4,6
    • Manufacturing location: Baltimore, Maryland2,6
    • Production: May 1942 - ?4, ? - February 19446
  • Martin B-26C: 1,2103, 1,2306, 1,2352,4
    • Manufacturing location: Omaha, Nebraska2,4,6
      Production: ? - April 19446
  • Martin B-26F: 3003,6
  • Martin B-26G: 8933, 9506
    • Production: ? - April 19456
  • Martin TB-26G: 573,6
  • Total: 4,6833, 5,1571,2,4
    • Manufacturer: Glenn L. Martin Company4,6
    • Manufacturing location: Baltimore, Maryland6; Omaha, Nebraska6
    • Production: February 1941 - March 30, 19454, ? - April 19453

Variants

  • Martin B-26: First production model.3,6
  • Martin B-26A, Marauder Mk I: Carried more fuel.3,6 Delivered in 1941.4
  • Martin B-26B, Marauder Mk IA: Additional armor added.2,4,6 More gun added.2,3,4,6 Starting at aircraft 642 the wings were wider and had a taller fin.3
  • Martin B-26B-10: Had 6' longer wings.4 Later designated the B-26C.4
  • Martin B-26C, Marauder Mk II: Similar to B-26B, but produced at a different factory.3,6
  • Martin XB-26D: Prototype to test anti-icing equipment.6 It did work, but wasn't put into production.6
  • Martin XB-26E: Made lighter by the removal of equipment, the co-pilot was removed, and the dorsal turret was moved forward.6 Never put into production.6
  • Martin B-26F, Marauder Mk III: Wing incidence increased by 3.5°.2,3,4,6 Fixed forward gun removed.6 Tail turret improved.6
  • Martin B-26G: Wing incidence increased by 3.5°.2,4
  • Martin XB-26H: Prototype.6 Modified B-26G with dual landing wheels.6
  • Martin TB-26G: Trainer.3,6 Target tug.6
  • Martin JM-1: US Navy version of the TB-26G.3,6
  • Martin JM-2: US Navy version of the TB-26G.3,6 46 were transfered.6
  • Martin AT-23: Target tug.3 A conversion.3
  • Martin AT-23A, TB-26B: Trainer.6 Target tug.6 208 B-26As converted.6
  • Martin AT-23B, TB-26C: Trainer.6 Target tug.6 350 B-26Cs converted.6

Usage

The countries that used the Marauder were Australia, Britain, France, South Africa, and the United States.3

Due to its bad reputation it was nicknamed "Widowmaker"4, "Flying Coffin" and "Flying Prostitute."1,3,6 However, by VE Day B-26s had the lowest loss rate of any American bomber in World War II.1,3,6 The B-26 needed an experienced pilot to concentrate on flying the B-26.4

Flak Bait

From August 16, 1943, to the end of World War II, "Flak Bait" flew 200 missions.4 It had over 1,000 flak holes covered by over 300 patches.4

Australia

The B-26 Marauders were first used by the 22nd Bomb Group, based in Australia, shortly after Pearl Harbor.1,2 They went into action over New Guinea in April 1942.2,3,4

Midway

Four B-26As carrying torpedoes were used at the Battle of Midway.3,4,6 Two were shot down by the Japanese.6 After the Army declared that medium bombers were to vulnerable to be torpedo planes.6

Lyndon B. Johnson

Future president Lyndon B. Johnson received a Silver Star in a Marauder mission in New Guinea.1

Danger over Ijmuiden, Holland

An entire group of ten B-26 Marauders were lost to fighters, flak, and collisions in a mission in May 1943 over Ijmuiden, Holland.1

Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force received 522 B-26 Marauders.1,2,4

  • B-26A, Marauder Mk I: 546
  • B-26B, Marauder Mk IA: 196
  • B-26C, Marauder Mk II: 1006
  • B-26F, Marauder Mk III: 2006
  • B-26G, Marauder Mk III: 1506

The South African Air Force also flew the B-26 Marauder / B-26C6.1,2,4

In the Mediterranean the B-26 replaced the Blenheims.1

Specifications

  Martin B-26 Marauder
Type Medium bomber3,5
Crew 5 - 73
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp3
2: Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp5
Cylinders Radial 183
Cooling  
HP 1,850 each3,5
Propeller blades 4 each3
Dimensions  
Span - early models 65'3,5
19.81 m3
Span - late models 71'3
21.64 m3
Span  
Length 56' - 58' 3"3, 58' 2"5
17.07 m - 17.75 m3
Height 19' 10" - 21' 6"3, 20'5
6.05 m - 6.55 m3
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 26,600 lb5
Performance  
Speed 315 mph6, 350 mph5
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 2,400 miles5
Range - 3,000 lb bombs 1,000 miles6
Armament  
Nose 1: MG5
1: .30 cal MG6
Top turret 2: MG5
2: .50 cal MG6
Tail 1: MG5
1: .50 cal MG6
Downward 1: .30 cal MG6
Bombs 1 Ton5
  Martin B-26A Marauder
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp3
Cylinders Radial 183
Cooling  
HP 1,850 each3
Propeller blades 4 each3
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Martin B-26B Marauder
Type Bomber4, Medium bomber1,6
Crew 5 - 66, 71,4
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-393, 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-41 Double Wasp4
OR 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 Double Wasp piston1,3,6
Cylinders Radial 184,6
Cooling Air4,6
HP 39: 2,000 each3
41: 2,000 each4
43: 1,920 each1,6, 2,000 each3
Propeller blades 4 each1, 4 electric controlled6
Dimensions  
Span - early models 63'1
19.12 m1
Span - late models 71'1
21.64 m1
Span 65'4, 71' 7"6
Length 58'1, 58' 3"4,6
17.75 m1
Height 19' 10"4, 21'1
6.55 m1
Wing area 658 ft2 6, 679 ft2 1
61.13 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 22,380 lb3, 23,950 lb1, 24,000 lb6
10,152 kg3, 10,886 kg1
Loaded 34,000 lb3,4, 36,923 lb1, 37,000 lb6
15,422 kg3, 16,783 kg1
Performance  
Speed @ 14,500' 317 mph4
Speed @ 15,000' /
4,570 m
282 mph6, 317 mph1
454 kph1
Cruising speed 214 mph6
Climb  
Climb to 15,000' /
4,600 m
13 minutes1
Service ceiling 21,700'6, 23,500'1,4
6,400 m1
Range 1,150 miles4
Range - loaded 1,150 miles6
Range with 2,994 lb /
1,351 kg of bombs
1,148 miles1
1,851 km1
Range - max 2,600 miles6
Armament 6: MG4
8: 12.7 mm MG1
4: 0.5" MG3
2: 0.3" MG3
Nose 2: .50 cal MG6
Fuselage side 4: .50 cal MG6
Dorsal turret 2: .50 cal MG6
Waist 2: .50 cal MG6
Tail turret 2: .50 cal MG6
Bomb-bay 3,000 lb4, 4,000 lb3,6, 5,170 lb1
1,814 kg3, 2,359 kg1
  Martin B-26C Marauder
Type Light bomber2
Medium bomber2
Crew 72
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 piston2
Cylinders Radial2
Cooling  
HP 2,000 each2
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 71'2
21.64 m2
Length 58' 3"2
17.75 m2
Height 20' 4"2
6.2 m2
Wing area 658 ft2 2
61.13 m2 2
Weight  
Empty 22,380 lb2
10,152 kg2
Loaded 34,200 lb2
15,513 kg2
Performance  
Speed @ 15,000' /
4,570 m
282 mph2
454 kph2
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Climb to 15,000' /
4,570 m
24.5 minutes2
Service ceiling 21,700'2
6,615 m2
Range  
Range with 2,994 lb /
1,351 kg of bombs
1,150 miles2
1,850 km2
Armament  
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG2
Fuselage sides 4: 12.7 mm MG2
Dorsal turret 2: 12.7 mm MG2
Ventral position 2: 12.7 mm MG2
Tail 2: 12.7 mm MG2
Bomb-bay 3,000 lb2
1,361 kg2
  Margin B-26G Marauder
Type Bomber4
Crew 74
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-393
OR 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 Double Wasp piston1,3,4
Cylinders Radial 184
Cooling Air4
HP 39: 2,000 each3
43: 2,000 each3,4
Propeller blades 4 each3
Dimensions  
Span 71'4
Length 56' 1"4
Height 20' 4"4
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 23,800 lb3
10,796 kg3
Loaded 38,200 lb3,4
17,327 kg3
Performance  
Speed @ 5,000' /
1,524 m
283 mph3,4
455 kph3
Cruising speed 216 mph3
347 kph3
Climb 1,000'/minute3
305 m/minute3
Service ceiling 18,800'4, 19,800'3
6,035 m3
Range 1,100 miles3,4
1,770 km3
Armament 11: MG4, 0.5" MG3
Bomb-bay 4,000 lb3,4
1,814 kg3

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. American Attack Aircraft Since 1926, E. R. Johnson, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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