A-26K “Counter Invader”
SERIAL NUMBER: 43-22652
Wing Span: 70 ft. 0 in.
Length: 50 ft. 9 in
Height: 18 ft. 6 in.
Maximum Speed: 355 M.P.H.
Service Ceiling: 31,300 ft.
Range: 1,800 Miles
Armament: Up to 18 x .50 Cal. Machine Guns; 4,000 lbs. of bombs
2 x 2,000 H.P. Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" 18 cylinder Radial Engines
The Douglas A-26 "Invader" was designed as a modernization of its successful A-20 "Havoc." It had changed so dramatically that it was given a new name and designation. Introduced to the European Theater in September of 1944, the A-26 was employed to destroy the enemies ground rail transportation.
In 1948, all Martin B-26 "Marauders" were retired from service and the A-26 was redesignated the B-26.
The "Invader" saw extensive use in the Korean War. Again its targets were railways, overland supply routes and the new job of bridge busting. It attacked its targets during the day and at night. Many of the Korean War A-26s were painted black as camouflage against enemy search lights. At the end of the war, many of the A-26s were returned stateside for training duties or to be scrapped.
Nineteen years after its first mission, the "Invader" was called upon to fight once again. With strengthened wings, updated avionics, and heavily armed, the redesignated A-26Ks went to Vietnam. Used primarily at night to stop supplies flowing down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the A-26K was an effective weapon.
The Travis AFB Aviation Museum has one "Invader." This Vietnam era aircraft is an A-26B converted to 'K' model configuration minus dual control and under-wing gun pods. It is painted as a 609th Special Operations Squadron aircraft.
Information derived from, “Travis Heritage Center” by Nick Veronico, copyright Travis AFB Historical Society and Travis AFB Heritage Center Foundation.
This book is available from the Travis Heritage Center gift shop.