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Posted 4/6/2007 Printable Fact Sheet
Martin B-10
DAYTON, Ohio -- Martin B-10 in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The museum spent years searching worldwide for an example of the Martin B-10 for its collection. A wonderful example of the rich heritage of the USAF, the B-10 holds a key place in American aviation history. As the first all-metal monoplane bomber produced for the U.S. Army Air Corps in quantity, it was the predecessor to more advanced strategic bombers such as the B-17 and the B-24. The B-10 made operational history in 1934 when then-Lt. Col. Hap Arnold led a squadron of 10 B-10's on an 8,290-mile round trip from Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., to Fairbanks, Alaska, and back. This flight brought to world attention the significant power and range to American military aviation at that time.

When the B-10 design was released for export in 1936, several countries purchased the export version of the bomber, the 139W, for their armed forces. Argentina bought 35 Martin 139Ws, including 12 for the Argentine Navy. After many years of service, the obsolete bombers were used for various types of training. The aircraft on display at the museum was last used as a ground-training tool for Argentine engineering students at the "Jorge Newberry" National School of Technical Education, No. 1, in Buenos Aires.

When museum staff learned that the only known surviving B-10 was in Argentina, discussions began with Argentine officials to obtain this historic American aircraft for the museum. As a magnificent gesture of friendship between Argentina and the United States, and in recognition of the tremendous historical value of the B-10 to the U.S. Air Force, the Argentine Navy presented this aircraft as a gift to the United States on behalf of the Argentine nation on Aug. 21, 1970. The gift was accepted by the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, John Davis Lodge. 

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