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A-26 / B-26 Invader in Action


The Douglas Invader has the distinction of being used by the United States in a combat role in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.   Originally created as an attack aircraft, with the designation A-26, the Invader was intended to replace the A-20, North American B-25 and Martin B-26 in the US Army Air Forces.   However, production delays prevented the aircraft from reaching the field until June 1944.   With up to 14 forward-firing .50 caliber machine guns as well as bombs and rockets, the Invader was well-suited for ground strikes when war broke out in Korea in 1951.   The Invader returned to combat during that war, carrying the markings of the US Air Force, and redesignated B-26.   Used first by the French during the war in Vietnam, shortly after the United States entered the conflict Invaders returned to the sky over Vietnam in the hands of American as well as South Vietnamese crews.   In order to base the type in Thailand, which prohibited the USAF from basing bombers in the country, the Invader was once more classified as an attack aircraft, and the A-26 designation returned.   This new 80-page volume is profusely illustrated with over 175 photos, 35 of which are in vintage color, as well as two profile illustrations and 10 line drawings.

By David Doyle

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