Canadian Warplanes 3: Martin B-26 Marauder

Martin B-26 Marauder

(RAF Photo)

Martin B-26 Marauder Mk. I, IA, II, III, RAF.  Only two RAF squadrons were equipped with the Marauder, both in the Desert Air Force, and only one Marauder squadron was ever active at any one time.  The RAF received three B-26As for evaluation in the summer of 1942 and decided to adopt the type for tactical work in North Africa. Forty eight Marauder Is and IAs already allocated under lend lease were sent directly to the Middle East, where they were used by No.14 Squadron.

In RAF and Commonwealth service the B-26A was known as the Marauder Mk. I, the B-26B as the Marauder Mk. IA. A total of 52 Mk Is and IAs were received.  The 250 B-26Fs delivered were known as the Marauder Mk. II and the 150 B-26Gs became the Marauder Mk. III.  The Mk. I/IA and Mk. III were flown by the RAF while the South African Air Force (SAAF) received the Mk. II and Mk. III.

The only RAF squadrons to use the Marauder were Nos. 14 and 39 Squadrons of the Desert Air Force.  No.14 was the first to receive the type in August 1942.  Operations began on 28 October 1942 and the squadron used its Marauders for bombing, mine laying and shipping reconnaissance.  In March 1943 the squadron moved to Algeria, where it began flying anti-submarine patrols.  These continued after the squadron moved to Sardinia in June 43, and the last Marauder mission was flown on 21 September 1944, just before the squadron returned to the UK to convert to the Wellington.

No. 39 Squadron RAF acquired Marauders in December 1944, but the first Marauder mission wasn't flown until 7 February 1945.  The squadron carried out shipping strikes along the French, Italian and Balkan coasts, alongside night intruder missions, and retained the Marauder until October 1945 when it moved to the Sudan. (Wikipedia)

(RAF Photo)

Martin Marauder Mk. Mk. I flying over Banja Ljuka, Yugoslavia, c1943-44.

(IWM Photo, CM5001)

Martin Marauder Mk. I, RAF (Serial No. FK375), coded D, "Dominion Revenge", No. 14 Squadron, based at Fayid, Egypt, 28 Dec 1942.  This aircraft was lost during a torpedo attack off Aghios Giorgios Island on 3 Jan 1943.

(RAF Photo)

Martin Marauder Mk. I, RAF (Serial No. FK138),  Prestwick, Ayrshire, UK.

The Marauder Mk. Is (which cost $102,659.33 each to build) operated by 14 Sqn were from a batch of 52 which were equivalent to the USAAF’s B-26A-MA and B-26A-1-MA versions that were delivered under Lend Lease terms to the RAF due to a delay in deliveries of the Martin Baltimore. Most were delivered directly to North Africa and judging by photos taken during these flights at least some bore US markings, however four crashed during their delivery flights, some were lost in the USA before delivery and four were sent to the UK for trials purposes although these were later sent on to N. Africa too as numbers available in the Middle East began to dwindle due to accidental and operational losses. (Falkeins)

One RAF Martin Marauder Mk. I (Serial No. FK 115) served Canada. It was stripped to bare metal, given a solid nose and named `Helzapoppin' for use by No. 45 (T) Group, based at Dorval, Quebec. Previously Ferry Command, No. 45 (Atlantic Transport) Group was formed on 1 April 1943, part of Transport Command at Dorval. By June 1944 it had became No. 45 (Transport) Group1. After the war, in Jan 1946 it became part of Coastal Command and on 15 Feb 1946 it became No. 45 Wing, RAF. (Falkeins)

(RAF Photo)

Martin Marauder Mk. I, RAF, being towed by a heavy duty wrecker.

(RAF Photo)

Martin Marauder Mk. I (Serial No. FK375), “Dominion Revenge”, coded D, at Shallufah, Egypt, 28 Dec 1942. FK375 was lost during a torpedo attack off Aghios Giorgios Island on 3 January 1943.

(World War Photo)

Martin Marauder Mk. III (B-26F-2), March 1944.

(IWM Photo, CH 17449)

Martin Marauder Mk I (Serial No. FK138), at Prestwick, Ayrshire, UK, shortly after arriving from the USA. This aircraft subsequently served with No. 14 Squadron RAF in the Mediterranean theatre.

Surviving Martin B-26 Marauders:

(Author Photo)

Martin B-26 Marauder (Serial No. 40-1464), c/n 1329, Reg. No. N4297J, South Hangar, Fantasy of Flight, Kermit Weeks Collection, Polk City, Florida.

(MilborneOne Photo)

Martin B-26G Marauder (Serial No. 44-68219) painted to represent (Serial No. 41-31576), coded AN-Z, "Dinah Might" of the 553rd Bomb Squadron of the United States Airmy Air Force (USAAF) on display at the Utah Beach Museum (Musée du Débarquement Utah Beach), Normandy, France.

(Alexander Fluhmann Photo)

Martin B-26 Marauder at the Musée de l'Air, Le Bourget Airport, Paris, France.

(NMUSAF Photo)

Martin B-26G Marauder (Serial No. 43-34581), C/N 8701 "Shootin In".  It is painted as (Serial No. 42-95857) a 9th Air Force B-26B assigned to the 387th Bombardment Group in 1945. National Museum of the USAF, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

(Alan Wilson Photo)

Martin B-26B Marauder (Serial No. 41-31773), “Flak Bait”, under restoration at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia.

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