Hello from Belton, Missouri
B-26 Martin Marauder
This is a picture of a Martin B-26 Marauder. My Dad flew as a tail gunner
in one of these during WWII. For info on B-26's
or other planes, check out Joe
Baugher's Encyclopedia of American Military Aircraft. Also, Elevon
has links to these and other aircraft related sites.
There is a B-26 named Flak
Bait at The National Air
and Space Museum. It has an interesting history.
Enthusiasts Corner has lots of good stuff, including a spec.
sheet on the B-26G. The last Marauder model was the B-26G. Production
ended in March 1945, with 5157 Marauders having been built stationed at camp mackall. Although not
as well known as the B-25 Mitchell, the Martin Marauder made most of the
Army's short-range bomber sorties against Germany. If your browser supports
tables, click here.
If not, click
here for the same table as a .gif image.
is a photo of one crew my Dad flew with, and their Marauder. It was taken
in late 1943 in either North Africa or Sardinia. Left to right, back row:
Unknown ; Neil Lidicker ; Lt. Koontz ; Sgt. George Apgar : Lt. Hendricks.
Front row : Unknown ; William Griner (my Dad!). They were with the
320th Bomb Group, 441st Squadron. Click the picture to see a larger image
Killed Our Aircraft...
Major General John O. Moench wrote:
Before the end of 1945 was reached, with a few B-26s being transferred
to the French and other countries, the remainder of the Marauders in Europe,
after having been carefully tuned up and polished by their attentive ground
crews, were flown into the Landsberg storage depot, there to be blown apart.
Here is the epilogue from his book Marauder Men.
- Flying the Old Marauder over Nazi Germany
Jim Colvert was a Marauder pilot with the 386th Bomb Group. He says "I hope
this article will be of interest to old, old men like me who flew them as mere kids
in WWII, and to others as well. I'll be happy to correspond with people who write."
James T. Paulantis was a Marauder pilot with my Dad's outfit,
the 320th Bomb Group, 441st Squadron. Check out the cool stuff he sent
of a Marauder Pilot
"Ramblings" of 2nd Lt. Herbert L. Ballard, who flew
Marauders with the 17th Bomb group.
The B-26 was technologically advanced when it was introduced,
some say ahead of its time. Here are some examples from J.K. Havener's
book The Martin B-26 Marauder.
Good News! This book is now available in an updated
Second Edition, with color photos added, at a very reasonable price.
Get it from Southern Heritage Press
(the publisher) or amazon.com,
where I got my copy!
Lady's A Marauder, A poem.
on the Martin B-26 Memorial, USAF Air Museum, Dayton, Ohio
- Doolittle on the Marauder
Jimmy Doolittle was assigned to look into the high number of
training accidents occuring in the Marauder and recommend whether or not
the B-26 should continue to be built. Here is what he said about it in
- The Arhweiler Mission
The 391st Bombardment Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation
for their performance from December 23-26, 1944, beginning with the mission to
Arhweiler, Germany. Here is an account of that mission, written by Bob Mynn, taken
from the 391st Bombardment Group History (Copyright 1974). If you are interested
in purchasing a copy of the book contact Hugh Walker at email@example.com
Raids on Ijmuiden
The first Marauder missions in the ETO were disasterous, resulting
in changes in the way the B-26 would be used.
- Ijmuiden Survivor
CLYDE D. WILLIS was on the first two Ijmuiden missions. His plane
was shot down on the second mission and he was captured. In 1997 he wrote some
notes about his experiences. His Grandson, Chris Willis, sent these notes to me
and was kind enough to allow me to share them here. You can reach Chris at:
- "Get the Job Done"
The ground crews were an essential part of any bomb group. This article by Lt. Gordon H. Coe, published in Air Force magazine in July 1943, visits a Marauder group in Tunisia and illustrates how the ground crews dealt with the adverse conditions. Many thanks to John Malcom, 320th Bomb Group, 441st Squadron, for sending me a copy of the original magazine article and other material.
- The 320th Bombardment Group
A short history of the 320th Bombardment Group from the Department
of the Air Force
- Some other Bomb Groups that flew Marauders.
These Bomb Group histories were taken from Air Combat Units of World War II,
published by the Department of the Air Force. This book was printed in 1960 so this
information is not up to date. I will add more Bomb Groups as I get them done.
320th Bomb Group Franz Reisdorf has put together an outstanding site dedicated to the 320th Bomb Group. Photos, serial numbers, paint schemes, stories, missions, roster, even film clips. Where did he find all this stuff?? Check it out at the 320th Bomb Group Home Page
There were three U.S. 12th Air Force bomb groups flying the B-26 in
the North African and Mediterranean Theaters during WWII; the 17th , the
319th and the 320th. The 319th
Bomb Group Web Page is back up, with a new domain name. It is maintained by Ed Brockman. Head over there and read about "Colonel Randy's Flying Circus".
Although the Marauder is best remembered for its service in the war
against Germany, the B-26 first saw combat against the Japanese. The 22nd
Bomb Group of the Fifth Air Force was the first unit equipped with Marauders.
Read about it at the Red Raiders
"Rusty" was a tail gunner with the 386th Bomb Group. He has put together an online Photo Album with lots of Marauder pics. Good job Rusty!
The MAPS Air Museum
, Akron-Canton, Ohio, is restoring an early model B-26 Marauder. There
is a photo of their plane on their web page. Also, the sister ship of their
plane has been restored to flying condition - the only flying B-26 Marauder
in the world as far as I know - and is now with Kermit Weeks' Fantasy
of Flight Museum in Florida. Thanks to Jim Bates at the MAPS Air
Museum for the information, and I wish you the best of luck with the restoration
Speaking of Kermit Weeks, his Marauder arrived at Fantasy of Flight Airfield on
Wednesday, March 11, 1998. Visit his Fantasy
of Flight Web Page to read about it, as well as his collection of other vintage aircraft.
The Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace near Paris, France now has a recently restored Marauder on display. This is a good page including photos taken during the restoration. Thanks to Jean-François Patte, Ailes Anciennes Toulouse, for pointing this one out.
When you have a little time, check out Zeno's
Warbird Video Drive-In . You can view actual WWII flight training films (now including How to Fly the Martin B-26 Marauder) in "real time". You can download the player if you don't already
have it, and its free. You will find other "neat stuff" too,
like cockpit photos and performance charts on WWII aircraft, as well
as a long list of links to related web sites.
John C Dinou flew 65 combat missions with the 344th Bomb Group. His book,
Fading Wings / Faded Glory, is now available through his Web Page, www.b26pilot.com.
The Marauder pictured at the top of this page was a B-26B model named
Carolyn that belonged to the Confederate
Air Force. It was lost in a tragic accident on Sept. 28, 1995 that
claimed the lives of five crew members. I would like to express my condolences
to their families and friends. This might also be a good time to say
"Thank You" to all those who work so hard to restore and
preserve these flying pieces of history. Although I have never seen a real
B-26, I have seen B-17's, B-25's, P-51's and many others that may have
been lost to my generation if not for the efforts of the CAF and
I received a really nice E-Mail from a former B-26 pilot.
I would like to share part of it here:
* * * * *
* * * * *
I was browsing the web when I came across your page with the picture
of Carolyn and was thrilled to see that there are people, such as yourself,
who still want to keep alive the legend of that beautiful lady, the B-26
Martin Marauder. I fell in love with her at first sight when I took my
transitional training back in 1942.
Although she had many un-complimentary nicknames, she proved her worth
by establishing records in WWII that were unmatched by any other combat
aircraft. I flew 57 missions in the left seat as 1st pilot dating from
June 1943 through June 1944 including 2 missions on D-Day and 2 the following
day. I served with the 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Squadron and the 344th Bomb
Group, 497th Squadron.
Perhaps you are not aware that Jimmy Doolittle, who made the B-25 known
through the Tokyo raid, switched his allegiance to the B-26 and fought
to keep the Marauder in operation when Gen. Eakers grounded the 26 after
its first two fateful missions over the Ijmuiden E-boat pens in Holland.
As for the Carolyn, when the B-26 Memorial was dedicated at the USAF Air
Museum in Dayton, the Carolyn was there and gave us all a beautiful fly-by.
In addition to Flak Bait in the Smithsonian, the Air Force Museum in Dayton,
Ohio has a B-26 on display along with every plane ever flown by the AAF,
or as your Dad and I knew it, the AAC.
It was great reading your first page---keep up the good work.
You can reach Mr. Jacobs by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to hear from anyone else who may have anything to add.
Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.
You can reach me by e-mail at: email@example.com
I'd be glad to hear from you!
Some information found in American Combat Planes
by Ray Wagner copyright 1968