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More "Pretty Planes"

King 44-34322

King was a "plain Jane" B-26 -- no name, no nose art, no color yet on the engine nacelles -- but a member of a proud squadron nonetheless.


Love 44-34347

Love was lost on August 26, 1951 when the cockpit canopy inadvertently opened on takeoff and the pilot made an accidental ditching into the bay. Clifford Sloppy, flying his 55th and last mission, drowned.

Love with the Light
This aircraft, here photograpahed at Iwakuni, Japan, was equipped with a powerful searchlight that was intended to enable pilots to illuminate the target they were attacking. It was a bad idea and no one liked it because it ruined your visibility and made you a perfect target for enemy gunners. The pilot on August 26th was Thomas Lafferty. As punishment for screwing up, the Squadron Commander sent him to the front lines to be a ground controller. While there, he got himself assigned to P-51s to continue his tour and was shot down. It is believed that the Russians thought he was an F-86 pilot and took him to Russia, never to be heard from again.

Mc - "The Redbird"

The Redbird was an experimental effort to use new technology in finding targets. The extended nose on the plane contained an infra-red scanner packed with frozen CO-2 (dry ice) to enable the operator to see hot targets -- such as locomotives.
Mc - Redbird

Mike 44-34200

A sweet flying airplane and a pilot's dream. Mike was lost on a night mission on Jan 7, 1952 with crew James McBride, Joseph Wallach and Richard Ross.

Mike in the Snow

Nan 44-34372

Nan was lost on January 4, 1952 when the pilot aborted the takeoff, went off the end of the runway into sand on the edge of the bay, the nose gear collapsed and the plane flipped over on its back. All the crew survived.


Queen 44-35388

Queen was lost on September 3, 1951 while flying a night mission under the flares. Queen was flying at 800 feet when struck by ground fire and observed crashing into a small hill. The crew was Joseph Collins, Ernest Oliphant, William Roy and Bernard McManaman.

An unusual variant for the Korean theater. Note the 2-gun pod hung under the wings and no wing guns. If you look closely at the expanded version of the image (click on the thumbnail) you'll see an unusual aircraft under the nose beyond Queen. It is a glass nosed B-26 with two machine guns mounted inside the bombardier's compartment on the right side. That must have kept the navigator awake! The pilot had to manually charge the guns by pulling a cable.

Queen 44-35967

A SHORAN equipped aircraft, identifiable by the round upper turret without guns and the post on top of the vertical stabilizer. SHORAN operators considered this aircraft a potential suicide mission because of the near impossibility of bailing out in an emergency. Read about SHORAN under PLANES/COMBAT TACTICS/SHORAN.


Tare 41-39362

"Big Chief" was lost on October 15,1951. The aircraft received damage from enemy ground fire while on a bombing and strafing run on enemy vehicles. The aircraft sustained a direct hit on the right side of the nose section, with fragments entering the right engine causing damage including the loss of oil supply.

Tare - Big Chief
The prop wouldn't feather and "ran away". That is, the prop went flat pitch and continuously exceeded redline RPM. This caused the airplane to steadily lose altitude because of the excessive drag, in spite of max. power on the good engine. The crew was resigned to not making it home. The nose section of the engine started to melt, then the prop and reduction gears tore loose, leaving the airplane. The prop wound up with one blade resting on the top of the nacelle, one on top of the fuselage, and the other dangling between. That relieved the situation because the drag was reduced enough to climb and get to a forward airfield where the pilot elected to land gear up. The aircraft was salvaged.

Victor 44-35580

During the early stages of the war the Han river bridges were a major target. Charles Bartel used this aircraft with 1,000 pound bombs to knock down the bridges.


B-26s Bombing

Sugar, Fox, King and Love. An exciting combat scene, right? No. Formation training and bombing practice.


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