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A-26 Invader aircraft in flight, Aug 1943-Jan 1947

Caption     A-26 Invader aircraft in flight, Aug 1943-Jan 1947 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Air Force
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A-26 Invader   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
11 Apr 2011 05:21:58 PM

Douglas A-26B-5-DT, USAAF carried six to eight fifty caliber machine guns in the nose
some aircraft were armed with 20mm, 37mm and
even a 75mm cannon.
The solid nose could be replaced with the glass nose to carry a bombardier depending
on the mission, carried on each side were two
fifty caliber machine guns, later models had
fifty calibers in underwing packs.

The B-26 saw service with the USAAF in the
Pacific and Europe, the last B-26s were retired from the Colombian Air Force in 1980.
The A-26B could carried eight-fifty caliber
machine guns with 1600rpg, 2x.50 caliber MGs
in remote-controlled dorsal and ventral turrets. After WWII saw service with both the USAAF and the new USAF, until retired in the 1970s. Now called the B-26 and served with the US Air Force and Air National Guard served in Korea, with the French during the first Indochina War, Indonesia, Bay of Pigs Vietnam, and Africa used in covert CIA operations.
The aircraft spent its twilight years as a
aerial fire-fighting bomber, and now as a
warbird in air shows in the USA and Europe
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
15 Mar 2012 10:03:27 PM


The B-26 continued to serve in the USAF and South American air forces during the late 50s, into the 60s and 70s CIA aircraft were used in covert operations.

El Salvador: Operated the B-26 in the (COIN) Counter-insurgency role well into the 1970s

Guatemala: Operated ex-CIA aircraft left behind in the country, little is known about their operations.

Honduras: Operated along with their F4U Corsair fighters in the COIN role.

Nicaragua: Operated a number that were left behind by the CIA and Cuban Counter-Revolutionaries after the failed Bay of Pigs
invasion in 1961.
The last B-26s were retired in 1978, due to lack of spare-parts, aircraft sat derelict at Managua International Airport.

Cuba: Operated the B-26 against CIA backed forces during the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. Aircraft were later retired, and replaced with Russian equipment, under the Castro regime.

Cuba: Counter-Revolution Forces flew strikes against Castro-Communist Forces during the Bay of Pigs invasion, aircraft carried Cuban markings.


Biafra: CIA operated B-26 aircraft in 1960s
flying out of Enugu airfield during the Nigerian Civil War.

CONGO: Operated by the CIA, aircraft flown by
Cuban mercenaries many of whom flew in support of the Bay of Pigs invasion against the Castro regime.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Sep 2014 12:19:41 PM

After World War II surplus B-26s were sold or given to South American Air Forces and other Allied Nations. A few found their way into the civilian world as executive aircraft or fire tankers.


Aircraft that were in storage were refurbished and put back to active service. Along with other propeller-driven aircraft were operated as COIN
Counter-Insurgency missions.


The Republic of China (Taiwan) operated an unknown number of B-26s backed by the CIA to fly
intelligence and reconnaissance missions off the Communist Chinese mainland.


As the Chinese Nationalist fell back to the island of Formosa they left behind a number of B-26s, that were later operated by Communist forces.


During the early 1960s Vietnamese marked B-26s were flown by US crews. For political reasons one or more crewman onboard were South Vietnamese.
During these clandestine missions backed by the CIA a/c were sanitized so the identity could not easily be traced.


Covert B-26s were operated by Air America and backed by the CIA, its mission, to supply and night drops for special forces and indigenous troops. Many of these mission as still filed away
as classified and the crews remain unsung heroes of that era.

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