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  B-26 "Major Monsoon / Vice Unlimited" Serial Number 40-1491  
5th AF
22nd BG
33rd BS

Former Assignments
19th BS

Aircraft History
Built by Martin in Baltimore, Maryland. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-26 Marauder serial number 40-1491.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, 19th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to pilot 2nd Lt. John N. Ewbank, Jr. with crew chief Hyatt. Squadron number 33 was painted on the nose.

During February 1942, flown to Hickam Field and at the Hawaiian Air Depot (HAD) transfered to the 33rd Bombardment Squadron. Ferried overseas to Australia piloted by 1st Lt. Louis A. Almeida flying from Hickam Field across the Pacific before arriving at Amberley Field on March 27, 1942.

In Australia, nicknamed "Major Monsoon" a play on the surname of Major Hugh B. Manson, Jr., C. O. of the 33rd Bombardment Squadron with the nose art he designed of a genie inside a tornado spiral cloud holding a lightning bolt. Assigned to pilots Major Hugh B. Manson, Jr., 1st Lt Louis A. Almeida and Lt. Edward G. Gammon, Jr. with crew chief Mattacotti.

On August 17, 1942 one of ten B-26 Marauders parked at 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby fully fueled and armed with 500 pound bombs. On the ground, there was no advanced warning of a Japanese air raid against 7 Mile Drome by G4M1 Betty bombers from the 4th Kokutai and Misawa Kokutai escorted by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai. The crew including Major Manson, navigator Lt. Winchester and the rest of the crew were nearby when the raid started but were unable to take off and instead took cover in a nearby trench.

During early 1943, this B-26 was overhauled and stripped of paint to bare aluminum finish at Garbutt Field at Townsville. Afterwards, the nickname and nose art were repainted on the nose.

During June 1943, transfered back to the 19th Bombardment Squadron. Renamed "Vice Unlimited" with a row of bombs indicating combat missions flown. The nose wheel cover was painted with the USAAF insignia. Assigned to pilot Irwin with crew chief Snider. This B-26 flew at least three more combat missions.

On July 23, 1943 one of six B-26 that took off from Dobodura Airfield on a bombing mission against Lae led by Captain Stanwood. Also participating were B-24 Liberators and P-38 Lightings. Returning, the B-26s were intercepted by nine Ki-43 Oscars from the 1st Sentai, 24th Sentai and and Ki-61 Tonys from the 68th Sentai and 78 Sentai.

During January 1944 flown to Brisbane and scrapped.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-26 40-1491
"1491 (22nd BG) scrapped at Brisbane Jan 1944"
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 129-131, 207, 210, 287, 495, 497, 500, 517, 518 (photo), 521, 523 (photo), 614 (index - Major Monsoon), 623 (index - Vice Unlimited)

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Last Updated
October 1, 2018


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