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Douglas A-26B 44-34517 "Monie", 37th BS, 17th BG, Korea
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
Douglas A-26B 44-34517 originally belonged to the 452nd BG but became the property of the 17th BG when they replaced the 452nd at K-9, Pusan, Korea. Now with the 37th BS/ 17th BG the aircraft was piloted by Lt. Robert Mikesh and crewed by Navigator First Lt. Middleton and Gunner A2C Kitchen. The aircraft name “Monie” was Mikesh’s pet name for his wife “Ramona”. Robert Mikesh went on to fly in Vietnam and eventually became an author and curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
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