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david leigh-smith
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On This Day…April 26th.

April 26, 2019 · in Photo Collections · · 7 · 2.1K

26th April 1944, American Thunderbolt dive bombers, some carrying 500 lb bombs take off from an airfield in England.

Coastal Command Mosquitos pictured landing at their base in Scotland after a raid on Nazi shipping in the Norwegian fjords. April 26th, 1944.

The Deck Officer gives an SNJ-3C Texan the all-go to launch from the training aircraft carrier USS Wolverine on Lake Michigan, United States, 26 Apr 1943.

Close-up of the flame projector/thrower of a Churchill ‘Crocodile’ tank during trials at Eastwell Park, Ashford, Kent, England, United Kingdom, 26 Apr 1944.

USS Franklin (CV-13) approaching New York City, United States, 26 Apr 1945. Note the damage on her flight deck as described in a recent ‘OTD...’ when she was hit by Kamikaze attackers.

British Army convoy of Canadian Chevy CMP 3-ton trucks crossing a temporary bridge in Burma on their way to Rangoon (now Yangon), On 26th April, 1945.

April 26th, 1942 saw the first flight of the North American XB-28 ‘Dragon’

Originally based on the existing B-25 design, the XB-28 went through many design changes and ultimately became a new aircraft, although remaining very similar to that of the Martin B-26 Marauder (which it was supposed to replace).

The XB-28 used the Pratt and Whitney R-2800, so was more powerful than the B-25. It was also faster, had a better ceiling range, and had a ton more reach. By all accounts, the XB-28 could have been one of the great aircraft. However, by the time the design was completed, other aircraft, such as Martin’s B-26, were already in place and taking care of business.

Only two XB-28 prototypes were ever built with one lost in a crash over the Pacific Ocean during testing in 1943. Ultimately, the project was canned and a potential classic was lost to history.

Allison engined North American XP-51J - Mustang (44-76027), 26th of April 1945.

The Wehrmacht’s last stand. A Tiger Elefant abandoned on April 26th at the Battle of Bautzen, Germany’s last success in the dying throes of the European war.

Reader reactions:
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7 responses

  1. Outstanding post, David. That opening shot of the I don't know why but I love that color scheme on olive drab with the white cowlings and stripes.

  2. Great to hear from you, David. Thanks for checking in - I really am pleased to ‘see’ you.

  3. Great "Day" recap, mi amigo David.


  4. that's quite of a demure bridge in burma/ gets the job done though/ talk about do what you've got to do with what you've got to do it with...never heard of the lightweight p-51j project...have now...thank you

  5. Great work as usual, David. Thanks!

    Bob - the XP-51F and XP-51J led directly to the P-51H.

    • thank you Tom...when i asked yeager about the showdown between the bearcat and the p-51 he said i sat down he said but the p-51 H, as if that was a different ballgame...and i always wondered about Jefferey Ethell...about 1988 he did a slide lecture at a model show...i read his book and loved his part in the POF warbird series especially the P-40, p-38 i think b-25...RIP good guy and great aircraft lost

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