Martin B-26 Marauder with the RAF

Although the RAF received a sizable number of B-26 Marauders, only two squadrons were ever equipped with the type, both in the Desert Air Force, and only one Marauder squadron was ever active at any one time.

The RAF received three B-26As for evaluation in the summer of 1942 and decided to adopt the type for tactical work in North Africa. Forty eight Marauder Is and IAs already allocated under lend lease were sent directly to the Middle East, where they were used by No.14 Squadron.

RAF Marauder over Ancona
RAF Marauder over Ancona

In RAF and Commonwealth service the B-26A was known as the Marauder Mk I, the B-26B as the Marauder Mk IA. A total of 52 Mk Is and IAs were received. The 250 B-26Fs delivered were known as the Marauder Mk II and the 150 B-26Gs became the Marauder Mk III. The Mk I/IA and Mk III were used by the RAF while the South African Air Force received the Mk II and Mk III.

The only RAF squadrons to use the Marauder were Nos.14 and 39 squadrons of the Desert Air Force. No.14 was the first to receive the type, replacing their Blenheim IVs in August 1942. Operations began on 28 October 1942 and the squadron used its Marauders for bombing, mine laying and shipping reconnaissance. In March 1943 the squadron moved to Algeria, where it began flying anti-submarine patrols. These continued after the squadron moved to Sardinia in June 43, and the last Marauder mission was flown on 21 September 1944, just before the squadron returned to the UK to convert to the Wellington.

No.39 Squadron became to replace its Beaufighters with the Marauder in December 1944, but the first Marauder mission wasn't flown until 7 February 1945. The squadron carried out shipping strikes along the French, Italian and Balkan coasts, alongside night intruder missions, and retained the Marauder until October 1945 when it moved to the Sudan to convert to the Mosquito.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 May 2009), Martin B-26 Marauder with the RAF , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_B-26_RAF.html

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