Martin Marauder Mk.I - Allied Wings (Paperback)Phil Listermann
Paperback Published: 15/08/2008
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The Martin B-26 Marauder was a World War II twin-engine medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company. The first medium bomber in the Pacific Theatre in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theatre and North West Europe. The plane distinguished itself as"the chief bombardment weapon on the Western Front" according to an U.S. Army Air Forces dispatch from 1946, and later variants maintained the lowest loss record of any combat aircraft during World War II. Its late-war loss record stands in sharp contrast to its unofficial nickname "The Widowmaker" - earned due to early models' high rate of accidents during takeoff. A total of 5,288 were produced between February 1941 and March 1945 Even though the history of the Marauder is generally pretty well known, the history of the Marauder Mk.I has been overshadowed for many reasons, the main one being that only 71 Marauders received the designation of Marauder Mk.I. With so few aircraft only one unit could be equipped with this type and this was No.14 Squadron in the Middle East. Manned by aggressive aircrew, coming from all the Dominions, the Marauder Mk.I was used for two years in the unexpected role of maritime reconnaissance. Sorties were normally flown by a single aircraft and the Marauder Mk.I recorded an impressive record against the Luftwaffe, showing that the aircraft was able to defend itself and was far from being an easy prey, but sustaining heavy losses with 25 aircraft lost on operations.