The projected design data for the Model 179 Medium Bomber were accepted by the USAAC on 5 July 1939 and the first Marauder flew on 25 November 1940. The flow of production Marauders began on 25 February 1941 and by the end of 1944 more than 5,150 had been delivered. The Marauder first went into action in the Australian theatre in April 1942.
The B-26 initial production version was powered by two 1,378.6kW Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 radial engines and carried a defensive armament of five 12.7mm machine-guns in the nose, dorsal turret and tail. Normal bomb load was 907kg but up to 2,631kg could be carried in the tandem bomb bays. The B-26A was similar to the earlier version except for having R-2800-39 engines and minor changes. Similar Marauder I were delivered to the RAF and SAAF in 1942 under Lend-Lease.
The B-26B corresponded to the Lend-Lease Marauder IA and II and was produced in more than one form. Power was provided by R-2800-5 or 1,490.4kW R-2800-41/-43 engines and tail armament was increased to two guns. From B-26B-10 (Marauder II) the wing span was increased from 19.81m to 21.64m; the area of the vertical tail surfaces was also increased; and armament raised to include one fixed and one flexible gun in the nose, four 'package' guns on the sides of the forward fuselage, two guns in the Martin dorsal turret, two flexible waist guns, one ventral-tunnel gun and two tail guns. The front bay could carry two 900kg bombs on special carriers and use of the rear bomb bay was discontinued. The crew was increased from five to seven. The B-26B variants were the most produced of the series.
The B-26C (Marauder II) was the same as the B-26B-10 types but built at the Martin Omaha plant. The single experimental B-26D with exhaust-heated surface de-icing equipment and the single B-26E special stripped model were followed by the B-26F and G (Marauder III). These were similar to the B-26C except for having the incidence of the wings increased by 3 1/2°, no provision for carrying a torpedo, and 11 guns fitted.
Certain examples of earlier B-26 were stripped of armament and adapted for training and general utility duties, particularly high-speed target-towing. These were originally known as AT-23 but were subsequently redesignated TB-26. A number of TB-26G were also built. The designations JM-1 and JM-2 applied to stripped versions of the B-26C and B-26G respectively, used by the US Navy for target-towing and other general utility duties. The JM-1P was equipped for photographic reconnaissance.
| ENGINE||2 x P+W R-2800-43, 1410kW|
| Take-off weight||17300 kg||38140 lb|
| Empty weight||11340 kg||25001 lb|
| Wingspan||21.6 m||71 ft 10 in|
| Length||27.1 m||89 ft 11 in|
| Height||6.1 m||20 ft 0 in|
| Wing area||61.1 m2||657.67 sq ft|
| Max. speed||465 km/h||289 mph|
| Cruise speed||345 km/h||214 mph|
| Ceiling||6000 m||19700 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||1770 km||1100 miles|
| ARMAMENT||11 x 12.7mm machine-guns, 1800kg of bombs|
|JOHN HAGAMAN, JACKINBIGD=AOL.COM, 02.08.2010|
I WAS AN INSTRUCTOR PILOT OF B-25'S NCLUDING THE G MODEL WITH THE 75MM CANNON IN THE NOSE WHILE AT COLUMBIA,IA S.C. LOGGED IN OVER 2OOO HOURS...THEN WENT TO ENGLAND WHERE I MET MY FIRST B-26 (CALLED THE FLYING PROSTITUTE-)..QUTE A BIT OF A CHANGE---THE B-25 WAS LIKE A BABY CARRIAGE BY COMPARISON---BUT AS SOME NOTED---I WOULD NOT BE TYPING THIS IF I HAD BEEN FLYING B-25'S---THEY JUST COULD NOT HAVE TAKEN THE PUNISHMENT WITH ALL THAT FLAK WE ENCOUNTERED---MANY HOLES AND BROKEN PLEXIGLAS--THOSE BIG ENGINES STICKING OUT IN FRONT WERE GREAT PROTECTION-- ...HAD 23 MISSIONS OUT OF ENGLAND AND FRANCE BEFORE THE FLAK TOOK IT'S TOLL--PURPLE HEART AND DFC---GREAT AIRPLANE----FINALLY ENDED THE WAR IN A-26'S...I THINK THAT A-26 HAD TO BE JUST LIKE THE B-25---HANDLED JUST LIKE A BABY CARRIAGE
STILL ALL GREAT AIRCRAFT----
|David J.MIller, dj.miller1=juno.com, 12.04.2010|
Following pilot training it was my hope to fly the A-20 but along with most of my graduating class we were assigned as co-pilot on the B-26. A plane which we had heard was having mechanical problems, run away props etc but these were resolved and became a plane worthy to be called the MARAUDER and established an outstanding WWII record. The Marauder Historical Society was formed to preserve the Historical Legacy of this aircraft. MHS Headquarters and the International Marauder Archives located in Tuscon, AZ. phone 520-322-5225 & try there MHS web site.
|Zachary Rich, spartan03945=yahoo.com, 14.03.2010|
My grandfather worked as a mechanic on three different Marauders during WW II, two of which were shot down. The Vega Bomber was the last one he worked on at the end of the war and I still have his photos of the proud bomber. He often told us of how badly mauled Marauders would co0me in and somehow they were still flying, it's amazing. They're the best medium bomber of the war in Europe.
|Don Wilson, dwilson920=comcast.net, 07.02.2010|
I flew this great airplane from July '43 till November '45 as an instructor at Barksdale then as pilot with the 95th BS, 17 BG out of Dijon, France. During these 750 flight hours I never suffered a single engine from mechanical or enemy cause. Just a good stable airplane and I hated to see all of my group's planes flown to a pasture in Bavaria in the fall of '45, landed and air brakes pulled, and demo crews standing by to load and ignite explosives to destroy those beautiful aiplanes. We rode back to a bare ramp base at Schliesheim, Germany in open air 6x6's. What a sad day that was. Some of those planes had less than 100 hours flight time!!
|firstname.lastname@example.org, jeff martin, 29.07.2009|
my dad was pilot of "booby trap" ETO 65 missions including 2 on d-day...i'm not sure I would be here if he went into combat in any other plane! Thanks to the crews (air & ground) for your service to our country & the world...
|Joe Rico, manxset=comcast.net, 21.12.2008|
The last USAF Maurauder was indeed to test tri-cycle landing gear by the Air Force. My Dad flew with the 397th Bombardment Group as a tailgunner-armorer from 6 June 1944 to 10 March 1945.
Was this plane used in Europe too? (by USAF)
|Jack Bornhoeft, jbornhoeft=aol.com, 14.08.2008|
If I had been the pilot of any other aircraft flying in the flak we encountered, I wouldn't be here today to write this comment. Lost one engine twice and had to circle while the Group landed as the other aircraft were low on fuel. That is a statement that indicates the great design and the wonderful P&W R-2800 engines.
|Dan Wenger, danwenger=hughes.net, 26.07.2008|
Didn't the Air Force modify a B-26 to design the B-47 landing gear by installing main gear in the front and rear of the fuselage and wing tip gear on the wings? Seems I saw one of these at Wright Pat AFB.
|George W. Parker, george313=centurytel.net, 12.07.2008|
The Marauder had a rough start, but ended WWII with the lowest loss record of any combat aircraft. I was in a B-26 squadron from November 1942 (Flying School 42-J), Lubbock,TX) until I left A-72 (Peronne, France) in June 1945. I was in a nite crash landing with #296188, July 7, 1944 in Normandy. A 2nd crash, 28 July 44 a RAF Rivenhall, Essex, England with B-26 #296093, was checking a new pilot out when the left tire blew with the nose wheel off the ground ready to fly. The gear collasped immediately, the four bladed prop hit the pavement and was knocked off to the left leaving a pipe stub squirting gas....crew of three jumped out unhurt; the acft burned to the ground. A third crash was not in a B-26. I loved that B-26. It was tough; could land it in a strong crosswind wihout difficulty. My baby was MO Mule II, #296152 (flew this new acft to England, Febuary 1944. Sgt Michael Garvie, crew chief was first to have fifty missions without an abort. #152 (596Sq/397thBG, ETO) crashed soon after take off at A-72 on April 6, 1945, with no survivors. I was then assigned as a Bomb Line Coordinator, 19th U.S. Army Tactical Corps, G-3. While an Observer in an L-4 Spotter acft on April 11, 1945, I was in a 3rd crash; the L-4 fell to the ground near Braunswick, Germany of its own accord, with both occupants unconccious. (see Joseph F. Gordon's book, Flying Low).
|Alan Joseph Stewart, alanold317=gmail.com, 18.06.2008|
LOWEST LOSS RATE OF ALL WWII BOMBERS-LESS THAN I/2 OF 1 PERCENT.
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