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B-26 Marauder Archives

Martin B26 Marauder

The B-26 Marauder Archives: We preserve the history and memories of Marauder Men and Women for Future Generations.

During World War II the relatively under appreciated Martin B-26 Marauder flew missions in almost every theater of operations. The United States Army Air Force flew this speedy medium bomber from bases at Midway, the Aleutians, Guadalcanal, Australia, New Guinea, North Africa, Mediterranean, France, England, Holland, Belgium and here in the United States. The USAAF was not the only organization that flew it, the United States Navy, the British Royal Air Force, the Free French Air Force and the South African Air Force all flew the B-26. Many of these aircraft went on to complete over 100 missions. The most famous of its type, Flak Bait flew 207 missions, more than any other bomber in World War II.

Yet despite these great accomplishments the Marauder never received the national attention and fame that many other aircraft did. Part of this is due to an unfortunate negative image that the aircraft received. Due to a high crash rate with early models the B-26 acquired such negative nicknames as the Widow Maker, The Flying Prostitute and One a Day in Tampa Bay. After making several design changes and lengthening the training time for crews, the Marauder went on to a stellar war career. In fact the Widow Maker ended up with one of the best safety records of any bomber in World War II.

To preserve the history of this important bomber, the Marauder Historical Society started the International Archive of the Martin B-26 Marauder, and chose the Pima Air and Space Museum as its official repository. Over time we have assembled the largest collection of papers, photos and objects that relate to the B-26. This archive has collections from the men and women, who designed, built, flew, maintained and supported the Martin B-26 Marauder.

Even though we have amassed a large and rather comprehensive archive we are still looking for new papers, photos or objects that are related to the Martin B-26 Marauder. We need your help to preserve the history of Marauder Men and Women for future generations.

B-26 "Mama Liz" flying over Europe, 397th Bomb Group 597th Squadron.

Six B-26's from the 397th Bomb group fly over a heavy overcast.

Six B-26's from the 397th Bomb Group,598th Squadron fly over the European countryside.

B-26's of the 17th Bomb Group are using SHORAN system to bomb Cape De Areleon in heavy overcast.

The 17th Bomb Group destroys an underground factory at Siegelsbach that produces V-2 warheads.

A B-26 in Alaska, 73rd Bomb Squadron, 28th Bomb Group>

 

Maurice Snethen, a mechanic for the 397th Bomb Group, 598th Squadron rides his bike in front of a B-26 stationed at a snow covered airfield in France.

 

Air Crews

The Pilot of "The Sherif…," Capt.. Downs returns from his 60th mission while his groundcrew look on.

W.A.S.P.'s Babe Story, Marge Sanford, Edna Modisette-Davis, Velma Saunders, Jeanne D'Ambly, Lib Gardner and Shirley Slade standing front of B-26

Raymond Downey was the Commanding Officer of the 37th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group when he was shot down over Italy. He was protected by the Vatican and Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty.Here Downey is in hiding as a priest.

22nd Bomb Group personnel carrying and loading 100 pound bombs.

The crew of a 22nd Bomb Group B-26 getting ready for a mission

22nd Bomb Group personnel and a large bat

Left to right, Col. Sluman Commanding Officer 17th Bomb Group, Unknown, Maj. Greening Commanding Officer 95th Bomb Squadron, General Doolittle, Maj. Bowen Commanding Officer 37th Bomb Squadron and Col. Baumister Executive Officer 17th Bomb Group

Colonel Dick Harrell, Commanding Officer of the 17th Bomb Group receives the Silver Star.

A pilot of the 17th Bomb Group

W.A.S.P. Edna Modisette-Davis at the controls of B-26 Marauder

17th Bomb Group Christmas Party

Left to Right: Capt. Hap Schleveau (Army Air Corp Representative to Glenn-Martin Company), Col. Carl Ridenhour (Doolittle's Operations Officer), Gen. James H. Doolittle, Peyton Magruder (Lead Designer of the B-26 Marauder) and Maj. Clair Bundi (Base Engineering Officer).

Mechanics for the 323rd Bomb Group perform a 100-hour inspection.

Charles Hicks, Philip Henderson and Fielding Musson of the 323rd Bomb Group, 454th Squadron pose for a reporter.

 

Donald Lawrence, Robert Muncy and John O. Davis of the 323rd Bomb Group, 454th Squadron pose for a reporter.

 

Airfields

A B-26 of the 452nd Bomb Squadron, 322nd Bomb Group at Beauvais-Tille, Northern France, 1944.

Runway repairs at the 322nd Bomb Group's base at Tille, France.

 

It's mealtime for the 22nd Bomb Group

 

Crashes

Bomb Group base personnel watch as a B-26 burns after a crash landing.

In March of 1942 the 22nd Bomb Group arrived in Australia after the long ferry flight from California to Australia. Lieutenant William "Willie" Garnett had a landing mishap on arriving to Archer Field, Brisbane, Australia. The field was short and wet, to avoid going into a ditch at the end of the runway, he hit left rudder and ended up with the nose crashing into the building.

A 22nd Bomb Group, 19th Squadron B-26 misses the runway somewhere in the South Pacific.

A 322nd Bomb Group B-26 after a collision on take-off at Beauvais-Tille, 1944.

 

A B-26 of the 17th Bomb Group crashes on takeoff at Villacidro Airfield Sardinia.

 

Documents

A menu from the 17th Bomb Group's Christmas Dinner for 1944.

A scrapbook compiled by Peyton Magruder, leader of the B-26 design team.

A scrapbook compiled by Peyton Magruder, leader of the B-26 design team.

Two photo albums compiled by William Shane while served with the 322nd Bomb Group, 451st Bomb Squadron

A letter written to Max Rickless while he was a POW at Stalag Luft III.

Max Rickless' POW identification card from Stalag Luft III.

Miscellaneous

An A-2 flight jacket worn by 1st Lieutenant Paul R. Donahue of the 37th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group.

An A-2 flight jacket worn by 1st Lieutenant Paul R. Donahue of the 37th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group.

This is a steel helmet worn by Lt. Joe Baker a Navigator Bombardier with the 391st Bomb Group, 573rd Bomb Squadron. On July5, 1944 he was hit by a piece of flak. Amazingly the injury that Baker received was a bump on his head.

This is a bolt from the bridge at Remagen. B-26's from the 9th Bombardment Division attacked this famous bridge on January 28, 1945.

 

For more information contact:

Andrew Boehly
Marauder Archivist
Pima Air and Space Museum
6000 East Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
Phone (520) 618-4817
Fax (520) 574-9238

Location

6000 E. Valencia Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85756
Open 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily
Last admittance at 4:00 PM
Call 520.574.0462 or
click here for more info.

Visitor Tips
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Admission
Adults $15.50
Pima Co. Residents $12.75
Seniors $12.75
Children $ 9.00
Children 6 & under  Free
AMARG* $ 7.00
Group Rate $13.50

*Tour available Monday - Friday, excluding Federal Holidays. Government issued photo identification is required for all persons 16 years of age and older.