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United States' Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Photos

  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber
  • Martin B-26 Marauder bomber

Design

On January 25, 1939 / March 1939, the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) put out a specification, Circular Proposal 39-640, for a medium bomber that had high speed, long range, and could fly at a high altitude.

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. The head designer was Peyton M. Magruder. A total of 1,100 were ordered in September 1939.

In October 1942 the US Army Air Force conducted an investigation on the Marauder and made recommendations for improvements.

Undercarriage

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

Control Surfaces

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

Wings

The wings were placed high in the fuselage.

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.

Prototype

None made.

Production

The first contract was for 200 aircraft.

The first production model flew on November 25, 1940 (November 25, 1941). In February 1941 the first four were delivered to the Army.

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

  • Martin B-26: 201
  • Martin B-26A: 139
  • Martin B-26B: 1,883
    • Manufacturing location: Baltimore, Maryland
    • Production: May 1942 - ?, ? - February 1944
  • Martin B-26C: 1,210, 1,230, 1,235
    • Manufacturing location: Omaha, Nebraska
      Production: ? - April 1944
  • Martin B-26F: 300
  • Martin B-26G: 893, 950
    • Production: ? - April 1945
  • Martin TB-26G: 57
  • Total: 4,683, 4,708, 5,157
    • Manufacturer: Glenn L. Martin Company
    • Manufacturing location: Baltimore, Maryland; Omaha, Nebraska
    • Production: February 1941 - March 30, 1945, ? - April 1945

Variants

  • Martin B-26: First production model.
  • Martin B-26A, Marauder Mk I: Carried more fuel. Delivered in 1941.
  • Martin B-26B, Marauder Mk IA: Additional armor added. More gun added. Starting at aircraft 642 the wings were wider and had a taller fin.
  • Martin B-26B-10: Had 6' longer wings. Later designated the B-26C.
  • Martin B-26C, Marauder Mk II: Similar to B-26B, but produced at a different factory.
  • Martin XB-26D: Prototype to test anti-icing equipment. It did work, but wasn't put into production.
  • Martin XB-26E: Made lighter by the removal of equipment, the co-pilot was removed, and the dorsal turret was moved forward. Never put into production.
  • Martin B-26F, Marauder Mk III: Wing incidence increased by 3.5°. Fixed forward gun removed. Tail turret improved.
  • Martin B-26G: Wing incidence increased by 3.5°.
  • Martin XB-26H: Prototype. Modified B-26G with dual landing wheels.
  • Martin TB-26G: Trainer. Target tug.
  • Martin JM-1: US Navy version of the TB-26G. Target tug.
  • Martin JM-2: US Navy version of the TB-26G. 46 were transfered.
  • Martin AT-23: Target tug. A conversion.
  • Martin AT-23A, TB-26B: Trainer. Target tug. 208 B-26As converted.
  • Martin AT-23B, TB-26C: Trainer. Target tug. 350 B-26Cs converted.

Usage

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

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

First Group

The 22nd Bombardment Group received the Marauder in February 1941 at Langley Field. The Group was sent to Brisbane, Australia, once the United States was brought into the war.

Flak Bait

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

Australia

The B-26 Marauders were first used by the 22nd Bomb Group, based in Australia, shortly after Pearl Harbor. They went into action over New Guinea in April 1942. Their first raid was against Rabaul on April 5, 1942.

Midway

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

Lyndon B. Johnson

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

Danger over Ijmuiden, Holland

An entire group of ten B-26 Marauders of the 322nd Bomber Group were lost to fighters, flak, and collisions in a mission in May 1943 over Ijmuiden, Holland.

Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force received 522 B-26 Marauders.

  • B-26A, Marauder Mk I: 54
  • B-26B, Marauder Mk IA: 19
  • B-26C, Marauder Mk II: 100
  • B-26F, Marauder Mk III: 200
  • B-26G, Marauder Mk III: 150

The South African Air Force also flew the B-26 Marauder / B-26C.

In the Mediterranean the B-26 replaced the Blenheims.

Specifications

  B-26 Marauder
Type Medium bomber
Crew 5 - 7
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp
2: Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 18
HP 1,850 each
Propeller blades 4 each
Dimensions  
Span - early models 65'
19.81 m
Span - late models 71'
21.64 m
Length 56' - 58' 3", 58' 2"
17.07 m - 17.75 m
Height 19' 10" - 21' 6", 20'
6.05 m - 6.55 m
Weight  
Loaded 26,600 lb
Performance  
Speed 315 mph, 350 mph
Range 2,400 miles
Range - 3,000 lb bombs 1,000 miles
Armament  
Nose 1: MG
1: .30 cal MG
Top turret 2: MG
2: .50 cal MG
Tail 1: MG
1: .50 cal MG
Downward 1: .30 cal MG
Bombs 1 Ton
  B-26A Marauder
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp
Cylinders Radial 18
HP 1,850 each
Propeller blades 4 each
  B-26B Marauder
Type Bomber, Medium bomber
Crew 5 - 6, 7
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-39
2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-41, Pratt & Whitney R-2800-41 Double Wasp
OR 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43, Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 Double Wasp piston
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
HP 39: 2,000 each
41: 2,000 each
43: 1,920 each, 2,000 each
Propeller blades 4 each, 4 electric controlled
Dimensions  
Span - early models 63'
19.12 m
Span - late models 71'
21.64 m
Span 65', 71' 7"
19.81 m
Length 58', 58' 3"
17.75 m
Height 19' 10", 21'
6,04 m, 6.55 m
Wing area 602 sq m, 658 ft2 , 679 ft2
55.93 sq m, 61.13 m2
Weight  
Empty 22,380 lb, 23,950 lb, 24,000 lb
10,152 kg, 10,886 kg
Loaded 34,000 lb, 34,200 lb, 36,923 lb, 37,000 lb
15,422 kg, 15,513 kg, 16,783 kg
Performance  
Speed at 14,500' 317 mph
Speed at 14,500' / 4,420 m 317 mph
510 kph
Speed at 15,000' / 4,570 m 282 mph, 317 mph
454 kph
Cruising speed 214 mph, 260 mph
418 kph
Climb to 15,000' / 4,600 m 12 minutes, 13 minutes
Service ceiling 21,700', 23,500'
6,400 m, 7,165 m
Range 1,150 miles
1,850 km
Range - loaded 1,150 miles
Range with 2,994 lb / 1,351 kg of bombs 1,148 miles
1,851 km
Range - max 2,600 miles
Armament 6: MG
8: 12.7 mm MG
4: 0.5" MG
2: 0.3" MG
Nose 1: 0.3" / 7.7 mm Browning MG
2: .50 cal MG
Fuselage side 4: .50 cal MG
Dorsal turret 2: .50 cal MG, 0.5" / 12.7 mm M2 MG
Waist 2: .50 cal MG, 0.5" / 12.7 mm M2 MG
Ventral 1: 0.3" / 7.7 mm Browning MG
Tail turret 2: .50 cal MG, 0.5" / 12.7 mm M2 MG
Bomb-bay 3,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 5,170 lb, 5,200 lb
1,814 kg, 2,359 kg
  B-26C Marauder
Type Light bomber
Medium bomber
Crew 7
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 piston
Cylinders Radial
HP 2,000 each
Dimensions  
Span 71'
21.64 m
Length 58' 3"
17.75 m
Height 20' 4"
6.2 m
Wing area 658 ft2
61.13 m2
Weight  
Empty 22,380 lb
10,152 kg
Loaded 34,200 lb
15,513 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 15,000' /
4,570 m
282 mph
454 kph
Climb to 15,000' /
4,570 m
24.5 minutes
Service ceiling 21,700'
6,615 m
Range with 2,994 lb /
1,351 kg of bombs
1,150 miles
1,850 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG
Fuselage sides 4: 12.7 mm MG
Dorsal turret 2: 12.7 mm MG
Ventral position 2: 12.7 mm MG
Tail 2: 12.7 mm MG
Bomb-bay 3,000 lb
1,361 kg
  B-26G Marauder
Type Bomber
Crew 7
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-39
OR 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 Double Wasp piston
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
HP 39: 2,000 each
43: 2,000 each
Propeller blades 4 each
Dimensions  
Span 71'
Length 56' 1"
Height 20' 4"
Weight  
Empty 23,800 lb
10,796 kg
Loaded 38,200 lb
17,327 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 5,000' /
1,524 m
283 mph
455 kph
Cruising speed 216 mph
347 kph
Climb 1,000'/minute
305 m/minute
Service ceiling 18,800', 19,800'
6,035 m
Range 1,100 miles
1,770 km
Armament 11: MG, 0.5" MG
Bomb-bay 4,000 lb
1,814 kg

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
  7. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site