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  B-26 "Wabash Cannonball" Serial Number 40-1499  
5th AF
22nd BG
HQ Squadron

Aircraft History
Built by Martin in Baltimore, Maryland. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-26 Marauder serial number 40-1499. Disassembled and shipped overseas across the Pacific Ocean to Melbourne. Reassembled by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC).

Wartime History
On June 10, 1942 assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, Headquarters Squadron. Nicknamed "Wabash Cannonball" below was Japanese kanji. Squadron Number 20 was painted in yellow on the nose. Assigned to pilot 1st Lt. Leon G. Lewis with crew chiefs Schmigel and Thrower.

Mission History
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.

Attempting to take off to avoid being hit on the ground, B-26 40-1493 plus this bomber piloted by 1st Lt. Leon G. Lewis managed to take off as the bombs began exploding. This B-26 was hit by shrapnel from the exploding bombs, knocking out the hydraulic system. Flying at low altitude to avoid being intercepted, this B-26 force landed at 12 Mile Drome and came to rest at the end of the runway with the nose impacted into the tree line. Aboard, the crew were unhurt.

Afterwards, this aircraft was written off. Other sources list it as being repaired. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Other sources show this bomber as scrapped at Brisbane during January 1944.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-26 Marauder 40-1499
Revenge of the Red Raiders pages 129-132, 172, 475, 489, 517, 520, 623 (index)

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Last Updated
October 1, 2018


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