B-26 Marauder

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Marshall_Stack, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Marshall_Stack

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    I have a couple of questions regarding the B-26. First off, I read that the (4) .50 caliber machine guns on the cheek of the plane were meant for strafing. Were they ever used in this role? I know that B-25s strafed in the Pacific but I have never read an account of the B-26 strafing. Could these guns be used as a deterrent from a frontal attack by a fighter?

    How effective were the ventral guns? It doesn't seem like the gunners had a wide view and wouldn't be effective from beam attacks.

    Thanks....
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hi, Marshall'. I've just done some research on the B26 for a model and a painting, and came across some interesting stories. There was one that mentioned a 9th A.F. Marauder using the cheek guns for strafing, but I must admit, I didn't look closely at the details, as I was looking for other data at the time. These gun-packs had the barrells slighly declined and set out from the angle of the fuselage, so whether they'd be of any significant use in an air to air situation is questionable. As for the waist/beam guns, their positioning at first seems rather low and to the rear, but closer inspection shows evidence of a relatively good field of fire between the 4 0' clock and 8 o' clock low to mid point. The dorsal turret, which I have always thought was mounted in a strange position so far to the rear, would cope with side-on attacks. There are quite a few web-sites dedicated to the Marauder, most of which link with 'Marauder men' and the B26 heritage. If you Google under Martin B26 Marauder, you'll find one heck of a lot to go at!
    Hope this has been of some help, happy trawling, and put a couple of hours aside at least, you'll need them!
    Terry.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    After a few low altitude sorties in the ETO and MTO proved to be suicidal, the B26 bombed at middle altitudes where the cheek guns were useless, thus removed.

    In the PTO, I looked at the 22nd BG Book "Revenge Of The Red Raiders" and saw no B26's with cheek guns.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Syscom 3 is right about the low-altitude attempts and the change to medium level bombing, which was very successful. The Marauder eventually enjoyed the reputation of having the lowest loss rate of any U.S.A.A.F. aircraft in WW2. As to the cheek guns, they were probably not used, but photographs of 9th Air Force B26's show them in place even up to the end of the war in Europe. It is something I have always wondered about, how these guns were or were not employed. When the B26 units changed to A26 Invaders, and this aircraft took on the 'Attack' role, similar twin gun packs were mounted under the outboard wings. However I think that this might have been a modification for the Korean war, when A/B26's were used in the ground attack role; it's not something I've looked at closely.
    Terry.
     
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