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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.

The Aviation 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.

Here 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 (47K.jpg).

Also see:

  • They 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."

  • Lieutenant 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 me!

  • Journal of a Marauder Pilot
    "Ramblings" of 2nd Lt. Herbert L. Ballard, who flew Marauders with the 17th Bomb group.

  • B-26 Marauder Firsts
    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, where I got my copy!

  • The Lady's A Marauder, A poem.

  • Inscription 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 his autobiography.

  • 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

  • Marauder 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.

17th Bomb Group 22d Bomb Group 319th Bomb Group
322nd Bomb Group 323rd Bomb Group 335th Bomb Group
336th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Group 386th Bomb Group
387th Bomb Group
387th DUC
391st Bomb Group
391st DUC
394th Bomb Group
397th Bomb Group    

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 Web Page.

"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 project.

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,

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 similar organizations.

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.

Harvey Jacobs

* * * * *

You can reach Mr. Jacobs by e-mail at:
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: I'd be glad to hear from you!
Some information found in American Combat Planes by Ray Wagner copyright 1968