Invader Squadron Update
The Commemorative Air Force’s A-26 Invader Squadron, based within the Vintage Flying Museum’s hangar at Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, has spent the winter month’s working hard on their Douglas A-26B Invader 41-29427. A-26B SN# 43-7140 was built in 1943 it was the 328th A26B built at the Douglas plant in Long Beach, Calif. It was delivered to the USAAF on Dec. 8, 1944 and given the USAAF serial number of 41-39427. It served with the following military units listed below: 127th base unit at Florence, S.C. - Jan. 4, 1944 through Nov. 13, 1945; 4160th base unit Air Material Command at Hobbs Field, N.M. - Nov. 13, 1945 through September 1948; 4127th base unit Air Material Command at McLellan AFB, Calif. - September 1948 to March 13, 1950. On March 13, 1950, the aircraft was stricken from the USAF inventory and sold on the civilian market. Fastforward to 2009 when the CAF Squadron was formed, with the specific objective of getting the A-26 airworthy. Following years on the airshow circuit as Spirit of Waco, the aircraft was in real need of a lot of attention. The group got her back in the air again in 2012 with help from Ezell Aviation, but as everyone in the warbird world knows, there is often much more to do once an aircraft is flying again. The aircraft is now back on the airshow circuit, but during the off-season, the team in Fort Worth make the most of the down-time to progressively work through areas of the aircraft which need extra TLC.
As the A-26 Invader Squadron’s Maintenance Officer, Bill Gorin recently told us, “We finished up the 2015 in November making every show we had a contract to appear at with the exception of the New Orleans Air Power Tour, and that was due to weather. We have been busy over the winter doing our scheduled winter maintenance. The airplane was in pretty rough shape when we got it in 2009 and we have been making big strides since then improving her reliability while trying to work in some restoration projects at the same time. This winter we fixed numerous leaky push rod tube seals on the right engine, replaced the left generator, resealed the nose gear actuator, improved our intercom system and #1 VHF Com radio, resealed the left brake and installed new brake pads and installed new main aircraft batteries.”
The aircraft has a new name and nose art in the works too. The aircraft’s paint is in too rough a condition to warrant applying the design directly on the aircraft at present though, so the artist is creating the image on wood. The team will then scan the design, and have a transfer made, which they can then affix upon the Invader’s nose. This will be a temporary measure until the Squadron has raised the funds to repaint the aircraft; never an inexpensive task. The new name and nose-art design have not been revealed yet, but this should happen soon, with the aim of helping the Squadron better tell the A-26 story, and assist in her marketing too. Anyone wishing to donate to the project should click HERE. The Squadron is always eager for volunteers to help work on the aircraft, especially those with mechanical training and skills. Please do contact them through their Facebook page HERE if you would like to become involved. The A-26′s next scheduled airshows are NAS Kingsville (Corpus Christi, Texas) April 8-10, and NAS Fort Worth JRB April 23-24.
In additional news, Bill Goring added that, “We welcomed our other squadron airplane home last month as well, our Beechcraft T-34B N802HV. Our out-going Squadron Leader Jim Reynolds flew it from Baker Aviation in New Smyrna, Fla. to Fort Worth. Just this week I appointed Nathan Carroll the Crew Chief of N802HV. Nathan is in his early 20s and is an A&P, private pilot and is working on his degree in Aerospace Engineering. Nathan and the crew have some work to do on the T-34, but once it’s up and flying we look forward to taking it to airshows, offering flight experiences and doing formation training with it. We invite you to come out to the Vintage Flying Museum at Fort Worth’s Meacham Airport where we are based along side B-29 FIFI (when the B-29 is not on tour) and a bunch of other cool airplanes….”
Visit www.a26invader.com for more information about the squadron.