A-26 Invader Units of World War II by Jim Roeder, Janusz Swiatlon

By Jim Roeder, Janusz Swiatlon

Designed to mix the bombing power of the B-26 Marauder with the flexibility of the ground-attack A-20 Havoc, the A-26 Invader could turn into the USAAF's assault bomber par excellence. in a position to flying low-level strafing or traditional bombing missions through easily altering the nostril configuration of the airplane, the Invader first observed motion in 1943 within the Pacific Theatre attacking Japanese-held islands. Arriving in Europe numerous months later, the A-26 served with contrast for the rest of global battle 2. in truth, the layout proved such a success that it's going to pass directly to fly strive against missions for an additional decades.

Written by means of army aviation specialist, Jerry Scutts, and illustrated with brand-new color profiles and infrequent images, this can be the 1st publication to concentration solely at the A-26's missions in global warfare 2.

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Late production A-26B/Cs featured wing hard points for the mounting of eight five-inch high-velocity aerial rockets under each wing, as well as a rack for a bomb or external fuel tank. 50-in machine guns, arranged in two vertical rows of four guns. This fit was introduced on the production line with the A-26B-55DL, and the new eight-gun nose was also made available as a field modification kit. The lower turret was deleted from the A-26C-55DT and A-26B-50DL onward, an extra fuel tank being installed in the fuselage in its place.

At 0830 hrs on 23 December, with the battle at its height, the 416th BG commenced the first of two missions that it flew during the course of the day. Taking off at 0830 hrs, crews targeted a road bridge at Saarburg, ten miles south of Trier. The group attacked in a formation that consisted of eight flights, each of which was led by an A-20J/K. Flying at altitudes up to 12,000 ft, the first and second flights could not identify their aiming point as they neared the bridge. Electing to make a second run, the two flights circled around, by which time the third, fourth and fifth flights had identified the bridge and bombed it successfully.

On the 17th, the 670th BS became the group’s first squadron to complete its conversion to the A-26. A 416th BG pilot scrutinises paperwork presented to him by his crew chief detailing rectification work that has been carried out on his aircraft since the last mission. If the pilot was happy that all was in order, he would sign the documentation and duly take the aircraft aloft on its next mission The next squadron selected for conversion was the 671st. The unit’s crews began conversion in a marathon schedule that started just before dawn and lasted until after dark each day.

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