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The B-26 Invader
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"A thing of beauty and a joy to fly, forever and forever, Amen."

Shakespeare, had he been among us at the time, would surely have been motivated to pen such a thought - had he flown an Invader.

Those words, that prayer, that feeling, permeated to the marrow, every combat crew member of our squadron in that long ago forgotten war - Korea. The aircraft was the fast, sleek, and beautiful Douglas B-26 Invader, built during WW II in Douglas' plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Long Beach, California. Some 1,200 aircraft were delivered from each facility during the years 1941 - 1945.
Old Able
"Old Able"

Aircraft Charlie
The B-26 came on line during the summer of 1944 and performed well but in a somewhat limited capacity. Its complete baptism of fire was to come in Korea. It was there she solidified her place in aviation history and earned the lasting respect and admiration of all who knew her.

Formerly known as the A-26 ("A" for attack), it was redesignated "B-26" in 1948 after the Air Force dropped the original Martin B-26 Marauder from its inventory.

The culmination of a dream of aeronautical engineer and designer, Ed Heinemann of Douglas Aircraft, the B-26 incorporated most of the then "state of the art" technological advances, primarily the new laminar flow wing. Other innovations regarding power plants and armament caused it to be labeled by some as "the fastest and most potent and heavily armed aircraft to emerge from WW II".

13th Flight Line
"13th Flight Line"

With the exception of the long range B-29 "Super Fortress", which maxed out at more than 70 tons, the Invader could deliver a greater bomb load and carry more guns than any other American aircraft. For example: The B-17 carried 6,000 lb. of bombs and twelve 50 caliber machine guns.

With eight 50 caliber machine guns mounted in two vertical rows of four each, three in each wing outside of the engines, and two more in a rear top turret that could be remoted to his control, the pilot had available at his fingertip trigger some sixteen guns firing at the same instant. The rear gunner usually had two each in his two remote turrets. Brown Nose
"Brown Nose"

To couch that lethal potential in very simple terms: You could put sixteen forward firing 50 caliber guns, with some five to six thousand rounds of armor piercing ammunition into a single target in about sixty seconds. It was the personification of "firepower."
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