The Widowmaker

The B-26 was known as many names but was best known as the widowmaker due to so many accidents in the early models during takeoffs and landings. This medium bomber was used in the Pacific and the European theatres throughout WWII with devastating effect. While originally the plane was not popular the Martin company bomber proved vital in its roles in New Guinea and then in Europe leading up to and following the D-Day invasion.

While the B-26 served throughout many theatres it certainly had an important and less well-known role during the fight against Germany. The planes were used with the 8th Air Force and later the 9th Air Force starting in early 1943. Just like the B-25, the B-26 was used as an attack bomber against small targets like bridges, rail yards, and even submarine pens. They performed these operations so well that by the end of the war in 1945, the 9th Air Force gave the B-26 the highest rating for accuracy at medium altitude. Even after D-Day the men on the ground would call in for tactical support and B-26’s would be one of the planes used to support the troops. It was fast, rugged and the men depended on it.

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