Although the Marauder did not make its first flight until Nov. 25, 1940, its design showed such promise that the Air Corps ordered 1,131 B-26s in September 1940. The B-26 began flying combat missions in the Southwest Pacific in the spring of 1942, but most were subsequently assigned to Europe and the Mediterranean.
Bombing from medium altitudes of 10,000 to 15,000 feet, the Marauder had the lowest loss rate of any Allied bomber -- less than one-half of one percent. U.S., British, Free French, Australian, South African and Canadian aircrews all flew the B-26 in combat. By the end of World War II, B-26 crews had flown more than 110,000 sorties and had dropped 150,000 tons of bombs.
In 1945, when B-26 production was halted, 5,266 had been built. The Marauder on display was flown in combat by the Free French during the final months of WWII. It was obtained from the Air France airline's training school near Paris in June 1965. It is painted as a 9th Air Force B-26B assigned to the 387th Bomb Group in 1945.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: 11.50-cal. machine guns; 4,000 lbs. of bombs Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800s of 2,000 hp each Maximum speed: 285 mph Cruising speed: 190 mph Range: 1,100 miles Ceiling: 19,800 ft. Span: 71 ft. Length: 58 ft. 6 in. Height: 20 ft. 3 in. Weight: 37,000 lbs. loaded Serial number: 43-34581