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B-26B Invader 44-34552 "Brown Nose" 731st Bomb Sqn., 3rd Bomb Sqn., Iwakuni Air Base, Japan, Korean Conflict, early 1951
General Background
In 1941 Douglas Aircraft Company began work on their twin-engine medium-bomber A-26 Invader. By the end of production there were 2,452 aircraft produced for all variants. The A- 26/B-26 was the only U.S. bomber to take part in three wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The confusion with the use of the designation B-26 began when the Martin B-26 Marauder was retired and in 1948 the USAF dropped the “A” (Attack) designator so the Douglas A-26 Invader became the B-26 Invader. The A-26 made its first European appearance in late 1944.
The Aircraft
When the 452nd BG (709th BS, 729th BS, 730th BS, 731st BS) left the US they flew to Iwakuni AB in Japan arriving November 1950. The 731st BS was immediately re-assigned to the 3rd BG who conducted missions from Iwakuni. On June 25, 1951 the 731st was re-designated 90th Bombardment Squadron (Light Night Intruder). Between November 1950 and June 25, 1951 the 731st BS flew 2,000 sorties requiring over 9,000 flying hours. “Brown Nose” flew in Vietnam as a B-26K.
Specifications :
First flight: July 10, 1942
Crew: 3
Length: 50 ft 9 in
Wingspan: 70 ft 0 in
Height: 18 ft 6 in
Empty: 22,370 lbs
Maximum take-off: 35,000 lbs
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-79 radial piston each producing 2,000 hp
Maximum speed @ 15,000 ft: 355 mph
Ceiling: 22,100 ft
Range: 1,400 miles
Armament: 6 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns in nose
2 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns in ventral turret
2 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns in dorsal turret
6,000 lbs of bombs
8 x 127 mm (5-inch) rockets