the Marauder did not make its first flight until November 25, 1940, its
design showed such promise that 1,131 B-26s were ordered by the Air Corps in
September 1940. The airplane began flying combat missions in the
Southwest Pacific in the spring of 1942, but most of the B-26s subsequently
assigned to operational theaters were sent to England and the Mediterranean
Bombing from medium altitudes of 10,000 to 15,000 feet, the Marauder had the
lowest loss rate of any Allied bomber--less than one-half of one percent.
By the end of WW II, it had flown more than 110,000 sorties and had dropped
150,000 tons of bombs, and had been used in combat by British, Free French,
Australian, South African and Canadian forces in addition to U.S. units.
In 1945 when B-26 production was halted, 5,266 had been built.
The Marauder pictured here was flown in combat by the Free French during the
final months of WW II. It was obtained from the French airline Air
France training school near Paris in June 1965.
the thumbnails below to view larger images.
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