B-26 ‘Flak Bait,’ Which Flew 207 Missions In WWII, Is Finally Being Restored

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B-26 ‘Flak Bait,’ Which Flew 207 Missions In WWII, Is Finally Being Restored | World War Wings Videos

Elliottwolf / Public Domain

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This is a truly historic moment as this B-26 Marauder is going through a restoration phase. There are only 3 airworthy B-26s in the world as of this writing, with only 3 other ones at various museums. Once this one is done, it’ll be on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia.

Flak-Bait’s crew poses with the bomber after the April 17, 1945 200th mission. | Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution

Not only is this aircraft type rare, but this particular aircraft is also almost legendary. Built late in World War II in 1943, this airframe was assigned to the 449th Bombardment Squadron, 322nd Bombardment Group and flew a stunning 207 missions in just under two years.

Just a few of its notable adventures include:

  • Bombing mission support during the Normandy Landings (D-Day)
  • Bombing missions during the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Being shot some many times the crew counted over 1,000 holes in the fuselage.
  • Returning twice from a mission on one engine.
  • Holding the record for the most bombing missions survived by any United States Army Air Force aircraft.
Elliottwolf / Public Domain

As you can see in some of the pictures, the side of Flak Bait (which will be preserved) shows a long string of red bombs. Unlike any other aircraft, each of these tallies represents 5 missions, not 1, as there were just too many to fit. Also, if you look closely, you’ll see a Swastika on the side as well as the crew managed to shoot down a Germany fighter on one of their missions.

The museum did not give a specified time of when the restoration will be complete, but by the pictures posted on their Facebook page (seen above), we can deduce things are well on their way.

You can see a quick yet informational clip of this aircraft below.

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