THE B-26 MARAUDER CREATIVE HISTORY
Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret) 2012©
|If the written history you read is not the portrayal of facts, it has
to be fiction – and fiction is not history.
Along with other serious B-26 Marauder historians, I have devoted decades to the study and correction of the Martin B-26 Marauder history. With regret, many of you who read B-26 Marauder history, articles, and newsletters, or who view documentaries are being exposed to a high degree of fiction rather than history and fact. The extent to which B-26 Marauder history has been distorted to say what it was not is enormous.
Those persons who you recognize as serious B-26 Marauder historians have spent decades correcting the historical record of the B-26 Marauder. But the truth is that errors in this history continue to materialize. Many of these historical errors were first developed in the 1940s. Some of these 1940ish historical errors have continued to be repeated and have been promoted and advanced in recent years, some are now newborn garbage. Because not everyone can detect what is a historical error, many who read this have been guilty of advancing these errors by repeating them to others.
A couple years ago, from the U.S. President and U.S. Congress, down through the U.S. Air Force, through media and thence to you, a most elaborate accumulation of B-26 Marauder historical errors were endorsed and given undeserved substance. These historical inaccuracies were promoted by the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II.
Why did this take place? It was part of the undertaking by the WASP to obtain a Congressional Gold Medal by claiming superior but previously unrecognized performance in World War II. A most important factor in the WASP claiming superior performance was the resurrection of the unworthy Jacqueline Cochran claim made near the end of World War II (1943) that the male B-26 Marauder pilots were afraid to fly the B-26 Marauder and actually refused to fly this aircraft – and that, by checking out some WASP to fly unloaded B-26s (to include mostly the AT-23 and TB-26) in the contiguous forty-eight states, they “shamed the male pilots” into flying this aircraft.
The WASP claim that they “shamed the male pilots into flying the B-26 Marauder,” when endorsed by the U.S. President, the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces, took off at a gallop and was copied and embellished across the U.S and in foreign countries. The problem was that the claim lacked a foundation and was never vetted with the male B-26 Marauder community! The second problem was that the WASP leadership knew the claim was without substance, but that did not matter! The prize the WASP were after was the Congressional Gold Medal and they simply refused to consider warnings of foul play that came to them from the male B-26 Marauder community.
While it probably no longer matters, the WASP false claims went far beyond the “shame the pilots” exercise. They include such ridiculous items as:
● The WASP improved the morale of the Marauder Men.
● The WASP caused the B-26 accident rate to decline.
● The WASP improved the performance of the deployed B-26 Marauder combat units.
● It was the WASP (Cochran) who caused the B-26 wings to be extended.
All of the above claims are fiction-based, but, through unchallenged repetition, they have become a part of the alleged B-26 Marauder history.
But let’s not stop there. Last month (December 2011) a prestigious non-WASP B-26 Marauder newsletter containing an article about the B-26 Marauder asserted that the B-26 Marauder pilots had to “hand fly” the aircraft (in that the B-26 Marauder did not have an autopilot, how else could it be flown) and “if they had any flight time to speak of, they would have been delighted to transfer to the more docile B-25.”
Where do these ill-informed, narrow-minded, brain dead people continue to come from?