The Martin B-26 Marauder is an American World War II twin-engined medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company in Middle River, Maryland from 1941 to 1945. First used in the Pacific Theater in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theater and in Western Europe.
After entering service with the United States Army aviation units, the aircraft quickly received the reputation of a "Widowmaker" due to the early models' high accident rate during takeoffs and landings. This was due to the fact that the Marauder had to be flown at exact airspeeds, particularly on final runway approach or when one engine was out. The unusually high 150 mph (241 km/h) speed on short final runway approach was intimidating to many pilots who were used to much slower approach speeds, and whenever they slowed down to speeds below what the manual stipulated, the aircraft would often stall and crash.
The B-26 became a safer aircraft once crews were re-trained, and after aerodynamics modifications. The Marauder ended World War II with the lowest loss rate of any USAAF bomber.
A total of 5,288 were produced between February 1941 and March 1945; 522 of these were flown by the Royal Air Force and the South African Air Force. By the time the United States Air Force was created as an independent military service separate from the United States Army in 1947, all Martin B-26s had been retired from U.S. service.
JM-1 208 B-26Bs converted into target tugs and gunnery trainers designated JM-1 by the US Navy.
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