Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA3226 B-26K Counter Invader AF64-646, 609th SOS, 59th SOW, Thailand 1969

In 1941 Douglas Aircraft Company began work on their twin-engine medium-bomber A-26 Invader. By the end of production there were 2,452 aircraft produced for all variants. The A-26/B-26 was the only U.S. bomber to take part in three wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The confusion with the use of the designation B-26 began when the Martin B-26 Marauder was retired and in 1948 the USAF dropped the “A” (Attack) designator so the Douglas A-26 Invader became the B-26 Invader. The A-26 made its first European appearance in late 1944.

On Mark Engineers was given the job to convert B-26s to the K variant. B-26K Counter Invader AF64-646 joined the USAF on August 12, 1964 and assigned to the 1st Air Commando Wing and sent to the CIA in the Congo. In July 1967 the aircraft was assigned to the 634th Combat Support Group in Thailand and then in August the 56th Air Commando Wing, later becoming the 56th Special Operations Wing. On July 8, 1969 AF64-646 became the last B-26 lost during the Vietnam War when it hit a hillside during a strafing run.

Douglas B-26K Counter Invader Specifications
Modified From A-26C To B-26K By - On Mark Engineering
Maiden Flight – May 26, 1964
Designated A-26A While In Thailand
Nickname - Nimrod
Number Of WWII A-26 Modified – 40
Dimensions
Length – 51.7 ft (15.76 m)
Wingspan – 71.52 ft (21.8 m)
Height – 19 ft (5.79 m)
Maximum Take-Off Weight – 38,312 lb (17,378 kg) Performance
Power-Plants
2 X Pratt & Whitney R-2800-52W Water-Injected Radial Engines, 2,500 hp per engine Maximum Speed – 322 mph ( 519 kph, 280 kts)
Maximum Range – 2,700 miles (4,345 km, 2,346 nm)
Service Ceiling – 30,000 ft (9,144 m, 5.68 miles)
Armament
Standard
8 X .50 Caliber (12.7 mm) Forward-Fixed Heavy Machine Guns Mounted In Nose Optional
8 X External Hardpoints For Up To 8,000 lbs Mixed Ordnance
Up To 4,000 lbs Mixed Ordnance In Bomb Bay