JACK McKILLOP COLLECTION
No. 1640. Martin 179C B-26C Marauder (42-107589 c/n 8852) US Army Air Forces
Photograph from USAF

Martin 179C B-26C Marauder

Remarks by Jack McKillop: "This B-26C-45-MO VT-R was assigned to the 453d Bombardment Squadron (Medium). The horizontal bar on the vertical fin and rudder is white with black edging.

The 323d Bombardment Group (Medium) had the 453d, 454th, 455th and 456th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) assigned throughout the war. [NOTE: In the US Army/USAF, any unit number ending in 2 and 3 is written 2d and 3d, not 2nd and 3rd; and effective September 18, 1942, all Air Forces are named instead of using Arabic numbers, e.g., Ninth not 9th Air Force.]

The group and squadrons had been activated in the USA on August 4, 1942, and trained with Martin B-26 Marauders. The ground echelon shipped out for England on the Queen Elizabeth on May 5, 1943 and established the first base at Horham, Suffolk on May 12, 1943. The air echelon flew their new B-26Bs and Cs from Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia, USA in early May 1943; the 456th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) flew the northern ferry route via Iceland while the other three squadrons flew the southern ferry route via Africa. The group moved to Earls Colne, Essex, England on June 14, 1943 and flew its first mission on July 16, 1943 when 14 Marauders attacked the marshalling yard at Abbeville, France. After D-Day, the group moved to Beaulieu, Hampshire, England on July 21, 1944 and then to France on August 26, 1944 and served at five different bases in France until VE Day.

The 323d was assigned to the following units:

Created July 1, 2002