B26 Martin Marauder

B26 Martin Marauder

The B26 Martin Marauder was an American medium-sized bomber in World War Two. After overcoming initial problems, the B26 Martin Marauder had a successful record in combat by the end of World War Two in 1945.


The B26 Martin Marauder was designed by Peyton M Magruder and produced by the Glenn Martin Company in Baltimore. The medium-sized bomber was powered by two powerful Pratt and Whitney supercharged radial engines that gave the bomber a top speed of 315 mph. The B26 had a crew of five and it carried twelve 0.50 calibre machine guns and a bomb load of 4,000 lb.


The B26 made its maiden flight in November 1940 and it was produced throughout the war. The B26 gained a reputation for being a difficult plane for novice pilots to control as it had a high take-off and landing speed (130 mph) and in its early days a number of planes and crew were lost in crashes. As a result the B26 got the nickname 'Widow Maker'. Changes to the design, including a wider wingspan, and a more thorough training programme for pilots led to major improvements.


During the European War, squadrons of B26's were based at eight airfields in Essex. After D-Day, they were moved to bases in liberated France where they continued the fight against Nazi Germany.


Over 5,150 B26 Martin Marauder's were built during World War Two. Once the initial problems were resolved, the bomber gained a reputation for reliability and performance. The operational loss rate for the B26 throughout the war was less than 0.5%; many of the B26 bombers flew in over 100 missions while one plane completed 202 missions.

MLA Citation/Reference

"B26 Martin Marauder". HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web.

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