5 Facts About America’s Forgotten WW2 Bomber

5 Facts About America’s Forgotten WW2 Bomber | World War Wings Videos

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Most people know about the iconic B-17 Flying Fortress and the numerous missions it flew during WWII.  However, there’s also a large plane that’s completely forgotten about and this aircraft would play a key role in the last air battle of the entire war. 

Here are some interesting facts about the B-32 Dominator, America’s forgotten bomber of WWII: 

1. The B-32 Prototypes are vastly different from the final product

The prototype would have a twin-tail design that’s similar to the B-24, featuring an incredibly strange, and complex defensive system consisting of twin .50-cal machine guns. It was also highly pressurized which allowed high-altitude bombing. 

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However, there would be several design changes and the final design would see the twin tail replaced with one large tail that measured about 20 ft in height. The complicated remote control system was also thrown out along with its rear-facing machine guns. More conventional manned guns were used instead.

2.  Intended as a “fallback” design if the B-29 was canceled

Due to the B-29 Super Fortress having a more vastly active combat role during the war, the B-32 became a bit “redundant” in that regard.

B-32s were originally going to supplement the B-29s that were replacing the B-17s and B-24s of the 8th and 15th Air Forces of the Pacific, but significant delays killed its momentum by the end of 1944.

3. It participated in the last air battle of the war after the war ended

During a ceasefire with Japan on August 15, 1945, Dominators were used to ensure compliance with the ceasefire agreement.

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Three days after, during a photo reconnaissance mission over Tokyo, two B-32s were attacked by Japanese fighters. Despite significant damages, both planes were able to return back to base. 

4. As WWII came to a close, manufacturing of B-32s was stopped

This is a result of more advanced technology on the horizon, causing the B-32s to ultimately subside into history books. The introduction of jet engines basically shoehorned a new age of aviation that left the B-32 outdated.

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5. There are no surviving B-32s today

The last surviving B-32 was destroyed in 1949. Others were written off after suffering major damage in operational accidents.

However, several Sperry A-17 nose and tail turrets, unique to the B-32, survive in various U.S. locations.

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