Martin B-26 Marauder (AT-23 / JM-1 Marauder)
The Martin B-26 Marauder was built in Baltimore, Maryland as high speed medium bomber used by the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF). Designed to the same specification as the North American B-25 Mitchell, The Marauder was faster, tougher, and could carry more bombs. Design trade offs emphasized speed and bombload at the expense of low speed handling, resulting in a "hot" ship that was unforgiving to the inexperienced pilot.
Most Marauders in the Pacific were the early B-26 MA (with 22nd BG and 28th BG) and the early short wing B-26B (with the 69th and 70th BS). A total of ca. 120 B-26 MA were deployed to the Pacific or arrived as replacements. About 30 B-26B were deployed or arrived as replacements.
On April 6, 1942 B-26 Maruaders from the 22nd Bomb Group (22nd BG) made the first combat mission in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) flying from Garbutt Field at Townsville, Australia and staging through Port Moresby, New Guinea to bomb shipping and airfields around Rabaul on New Britain. The 22nd BG in Australia, and the 73rd and 77th Bomb Squadrons of the 28th Composite Group in Alaska operated B-26s of the original production contract throughout 1942, though most were withdrawn from combat early in 1943. The 19th Bomb Squadron of the 22nd BG continued to fly B-26s in combat until January 1944, when all B-26s in the Pacific were withdrawn from service.
The 69th and 70th Bomb Squadrons, detached from the 38th Bomb Group, operated early model B-26B Marauder from bases in the South Pacific from mid 1942 until they reequipped with B-25Cs and Ds in the spring of 1943.
Later in the war, AT-23 Marauder was employed as high speed target tugs, operated by target tug squadrons in both Hawaii and Alaska.
US Navy Service
Assigned to the US Navy, ex-USAAF B-26C / AT-23B Marauders were designated the JM-1 Marauder in Navy service as target tugs.
Technical Information profile by Greg Boeser
Handbook of Operation & Flight Instructions for the Model B-26; Chief of the Air Corps, April 11 1941
Revenge of the Red Raiders The Illustrated History of the 22nd Bombardment Group During World War II
Bombs Away! A History of the 70th Bombardment Squadron (M) in Early World War II
Technical Details (B-26 MA Marauder)
Crew 4-7, depending on mission (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer, gunner, radio operator)
Engine 2 x 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 radials, driving four-bladed Curtiss Electric metal propellers
Span 65' 0"
Length 58' 2 1/2"
Height 19' 1"
Maximum Speed 323 mph at 14,250'
Range 2800 miles (with auxiliary 250 US gal. bomb bay tank)
Armament 4 x .30 caliber machine gun in nose waist and ventral positions, 2 x .50 caliber machine guns in deck turret, 1 x .50 caliber machine gun in tail (2 in B-26B)
Bombload up to 5,800 pounds of bombs or a single x 2,000 lb aerial torpedo