Martin B-26 Marauder Color Photographs Part IX – 323 Bomb Group

The 323 Bomb Group had the distinction of being the first Marauder group to see action in the European Theater, flying their first combat mission from Earls Colne, Essex on 16 July 1943. The Group was known as the “White Tails” due to the white stripe on the vertical fin. 41-34955 was named “Mission Belle”.
A close-up of “Mission Belle’s” nose art, showing 95 mission markers.
“Rock Hill Special” was a B-26C assigned to the 323rd BG, 454th Bomb Squadron. Here Serial Number was 41-3485. Most sources include “Lucky Graki” as part of this Marauder’s name, but I have to wonder if that wasn’t the nickname of the bombardier.
Another view of 41-34854 which shows additional details of her nose art.
A series of four photos of the 454 Bomb Squadron’s “Flaming Mamie”, serial number 41-34997. A close examination of the nose camouflage reveals several variations of the tone of the Olive Drab paint.
Canopy details of “Flaming Mamie”. The side panels could be opened for ventilation while to overhead panels hinged to the side to facilitate a quick exit.
Sgt. John Daily poses atop Mamie’s starboard engine. The outboard engine panel has been replaced with an uncamouflaged example. The nacelle and leading edge of the wing offer a good example of paint chipping for modelers wishing to duplicate the effect. 41-31961 in the background was shot down by flak over Caen, France on 06JUN44.
The starboard side of “Flaming Mamie” shows more chipping and her pin-up nose art.
“Little Lulu” shows an impressive tally of 61 mission markers. She was assigned to the 323 BG / 454 BS.
B-26C serial number 41-34969 of the 456 BS being towed by a wrecker, diorama material. Note that the ground crew is well-supplied with sheepskin “bomber jackets.”
Marauder 41-31951 of the 454 Bomb Group carried “Thunderbird” on the port side of her nose and “USO” to starboard.
Officers pose by the nose of “Bingo Buster”, serial number 41-34863. Most modelers, myself included, depict bombs with a fresh coat of paint, and sometimes even the prescribed markings. Many photos show the condition of bombs to be much different, with worn paint due to storage outside in all weather conditions.
The 455 Bomb Squadron’s “Bat-outa-hell” displays 56 bomb and 3 decoy mission markers, along with crew names by each station.

Part I here:

9 thoughts on “Martin B-26 Marauder Color Photographs Part IX – 323 Bomb Group

  1. Love these images! As I’ve said before, the Medium Boys never get the love and respect they deserve IMHO.
    I really like the two images of “Flaming Mamie”. I’d love to recreate that weathering, but I’m trying to figure out how to accomplish this in 1/72nd.
    Oil dot filters?
    Enquiring minds want to know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’d start with modulating the finish with the airbrush and lay down several variations of the OD & NG, then do the filters & washes over that. It would be a challenge but really striking if you could pull it off.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Never tire of images like these. I spent many years volunteering at the Rebel Air Museum based at Earls Colne (previously located at Andrewsfield) that was dedicated to the 9th with a lot of 322nd and 323rd material. We even had the largest chunk of B-26 Marauder left in the UK which originally belonged to a 323rd aircraft. We also had a separate WW2 military vehicle group that was based on the old fuel dump area at Earls Colne. Spent many a weekend exploring the remains of the old base and driving a GMC 6×6 around the perimeter track there.

    Liked by 2 people

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