1945 Douglas A26

1945 Douglas A-26C Invader #44-34313, N4313

Manufactured by Douglas Aircraft, Long Beach as A-26B-50. Construction Number 27592. Manufacture date: April 09, 1945

MILITARY HISTORY

1945-50-  Initially delivered to Hunter AAF, Savannah, Georgia then to storage at McClellan AAF, Sacramento, California.

1951 – To Douglas Aircraft, Long Beach to receive latest factory mods/upgrades.

  • To Hill AFB, Ogden, Utah for further modification prior to being deployed to Korea. Invader 313 converted to a glass nose “C” model.  Both .50 cal turrets were removed along with the aft gunners periscope/hardware and replaced with a SHORAN receiver-transmitter and navigator’s station hardware.
  • Ferried to Miho, Japan June ’51 to join 452nd Bomb Wing 730th (Long Beach) Bomb Squadron “Rebels.”  Tech. Sgt. Bill Dawson and Byron “Curly Davis  were assigned as 313’s crew chiefs and then based at Pusan East, (K-9) South Korea.
  • 313 became the personal aircraft of the Squadron Commander and named “Sweet Eloise II” after his wife.  Later was named “Junio” (Spanish for its June arrival month?)  by Squadron Commander Nevling who had replaced the squadron’s original Commander.
  • December 27, 1951- Invader 313 took a direct 40 mm hit to its fully loaded bombay badly injuring 1st Lt. Raymond Koch (USAF #AO2065993) seated at the navigator’s station- table in the aft compartment.  Fire, hydraulic failure, partial control (cable) failure forced the crew to divert to K-46, the nearest AFB.  313 was later ferried to Miho, Japan for repairs.  Returned to K-9 with a new black paint job to make the ship less visible.

1952 –  February 1952- Invader 313 took a 40mm flak hit to its glass nose which destroyed its Norden bombsight and shattered the co-pilots canopy as well.

  •  The 452nd Bomb Wing timed out in 1952 and was decommissioned.  In May Invader 313 was reassigned to the 17th Bomb Wing, 95th Bomb Squadron “Kicking Mules.”  It became the Squadron spare aircraft but nobody wanted to fly “The Magnet” due to its notorious reputation for attracting flak and bullets according to 1st Lt. Fox who flew his 50th and final mission in 313.

1953 –  July 27, 1953, 313 flew a SHORAN mission over North Korea on this the last official day of the Korean conflict.   Invader 313 had accumulated app. 1900 combat hours  in two years.

1953-57 – To storage at McClellan AFB, Sacramento.

CIVILIAN/AIR TANKER HISTORY

1957 –  Invader 313 was sold at a government surplus auction for $1,776.00 and received its FAA civil registry of N5457V.

1958 –  Modified for cloud seeding, Watsonville, California.

1959 – Sold to Aero Atlas, Red Bluff, California.

1960 – Invader 313 became the first B-26 Invader of its type to be modified as a “Borate Bomber”  for firefighting operations.  Became Tanker 27.

1961-65 – Sold to Wilson Aviation Industries, Lewiston, Idaho DBA. Hillcrest Aircraft. Invader 54V  operated as Tanker 20 after being fitted with a hard “B model” nose.

1965-74 – Sold to Butler Aircraft, Redmond, Oregon.  Became Tanker 16 and fitted with STOL wingtips.

1974-87 – Sold to ConAir, Abbotsford, BC (registered as C-GHLK) and became Tanker 23.  Invader 313 accumulated app. 2000 total hours of fire fighting operations prior to being retired in 1986.

1987- 88  Invader 313 was donated by ConAir to the Reynolds Aviation Museum, Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

1988-90  C-GHLK was sold to Don Crowe, Victoria, BC. (causing high drama at ConAir who donated the aircraft.)  Invader 313 was repainted in the WWII livery of the 319th Bomb Group A-26 Invaders based at Okinawa, Japan in 1945 with #13 on tail.  It was also refitted with a “C model” glass nose.

1990-99  Sold to Dennis Hamilton/Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mt. Hope, Ontario and  Invader 313 was occasionally operated in the air show circuit on the East coast.

1999-2011 – Sold to David Lane, Poway, California.  313 flew with the San Diego Wing of the CAF at various Southern California air shows and then later displayed at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, Gillespie Field.  Number “19” repainted on the tail.

2011-  Present –  Invader 313 was sold to Steve Penning and Phil Gattuso (Black Crow Aviation, LLC), Santa Rosa, CA in July 2011.  Flown to Santa Rosa on July 26, 2011 after 8 years of being on the ground in El Cajon, CA

Airframe total time:  4045.0 Hours

Right engine since overhaul: 250 Hours

Left engine since overhaul: 650 Hours

Right and left prop since overhaul: 90.0 Hours (AD complied with July 2012).

Aircraft is going thru an in-depth IRAN right now, including recovering all flight controls, Repainting airframe to Korean War scheme, All new hoses, New tires, Annual inspection, etc.. plus much more.

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