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The Marauder Strikes!


The B-26 has arrived in the European Theater of Operations. It has now joined the B-17, B-24 and the Lancaster over the skies of war torn Europe...


Martin B-26 Marauder: The Wingless Wonder was the name of a variant of Avalon Hill's B-17: Queen of the Skies solitaire boardgame. A draft of B-26 was available for play testing which used the B-17: Queen of the Skies rules and B-17 was needed to play. Everything has changed since then, and B-26: The Marauder Strikes! has completly new mechanics and is a stand alone game. It is a solitaire game set on board a Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber during World War Two in the European Theater of Opearations from July 1943 until the end of the war in May 1945.

B-26: The Marauder Strikes! is a big game in that there are many target lists, rules, mission maps and details which are not found in B-17: Queen of the Skies or B-29 Superfortress: Bombers over Japan. For example, the Damage Tables are more detailed than the earlier games and the combat system is similar, but completely new. The Target Lists include a large selection of targets attacked by B-26s from July 1943 until the end of the war in May 1945 and are placed on 13 maps (movement boards) which are different depending on where your base is located, from England to the Netherlands. Different models of the B-26 is also included from the early B-26 in 1941 until the B-26G which entered combat in October 1944. The earlier models are not used in the European Theater of Operations (the ETO) in which B-26: The Marauder Strikes! is set, but will be used in 22nd Bomb Group: Marauders from Australia, an add-on variant set in the Pacific in the war against Japan in New Guinea.

The rules in this Flight Manual try to reflect the twin engined B-26 Marauder and situations and events which the crews saw on their missions and historical accuracy has been an important guideline during the development of this game.

Players familiar with B-17: Queen of the Skies or B-29 Superfortress: Bombers over Japan recognize the mechanics used in B-26. One or more 6-sided dice are rolled on tables to plan the mission, to determine if enemy fighters appear, to hit with machine gun fire and to determine damage and wounds and much more. B-26 is as easy to play as B-17 with its basic system which is similar to the mechanics in B-17: Queen of the Skies. Players who have flown missions in B-17 may find that B-26 is similar, but more detailed and there are ideas included in B-26 which can be found in the B-17: Queen of the Skies community. If you add the advanced and optional guidelines you will find B-26 to become deep, detailed and complex, but still does not stray far from the simple mechanics of the basic system. You will also find yourself in situations where you have to make a decision.

The Core Game Flight Manual will be used to play the A-20 Havoc, A-26 Invader and B-25 Mitchell add-ons.

You can begin your campaign flying missions from bases in England or jump in later in the war when the B-26 groups had moved to the continent and you will find Mission Maps with your station either in England, France, Belgium or the Netherlands depending on when you fly your missions. Put together a crew, name your B-26 and fly missions over France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria and Chechoslovakia!

1st Pathfinder Squadron (Provisional)

Pathfinders & Night Missions Posted on 2015-04-06 22:18:32

The 1st Pathfinder Squadron (Provisional) was a special unit which led missions when the cloud cover over the target made visual bombing impossible. They used the Oboe technique to navigate to the target and to release the bombs. The squadron also led night missions and flew night missions on its own.

It was activated on February 16, 1944 and one Pathfinder flown by Major Porter, the 1st Pathfinder Squadron Commanding Officer, B-26 led 17 B-26s from the 322nd Bomb Group on February 21, 1944 to Coxyde in Belgium. The first night mission was flown by 3 B-26s from the 1st on the night May 31/June 1, 1944, to bomb gun positions at St. Marie au Bois in France.

When a Pathfinder was assigned to lead a group the crew had to be briefed 3 to 4 ours before the scheduled take off, then fly to the assigned group and attend the group’s briefing where the Pathfinder crews and the group’s Operations Officer decided the position of the planes in the formation and presented their flight plan. Some days a Pathfinder crew could find themselves leading two missions. The group could also rendez-vous with the Pathfinder at a specific point where it waited.

The first crews were made up of experienced crew men from the groups, but later replacement crew members had only a few missions and many pilots came from the two Replacement Training Groups (the 335th and 336th Bomb Group) after they had been disbanded in May 1944.

It seems to be very difficult to find photos of B-26 pathfinder ships, but here are photos of four ships I have found that were assigned to the 1st PFF Squadron:

Sharkmouth IH-A1:
Danita IH-C:
Florida Fox IH-?:Early Morning Scrub IH-X:I also found this photo:

I am pretty certain that this is a pff B-26. You can’t see the first letter in the ID code, but it seems to be an I. 1st had IH and then you see F1. As far as I know only the 1st PFS had that type of identification. While searching for the serial no (43-34291) I found this comment: The Marauder under repair is 43-34291. The squadron code is
most probably IH, then it is a 1st PFF aircraft (Pathfinder).
The bombed airfield is Y-55 Venlo in Holland, 394th BG base
from May 1945.(top sides only painted cammo)

Other pff ships:
Dubissary – and perhps this is the ac:
Weary Lera 42-95878 IH-X?

Sleepy Time Gal IH-E – and this could be the nose art: Where’s It At?:

Where’s It At?

B–26G–1–MA, SN 43–34201

1st Pathfinder Squadron (Provisional)

9th United States Air Force

Attached: 387th Bombardment Group

Péronne A–72 Air Base

1st Lt. Joseph M. DuBois, O-677682, Pilot, Bridgeton, New Jersey

1st Lt. Richard R. Britanik, O-822630, Co-Pilot, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1st Lt. Raymond H. Boettcher, O-766186, Bombardier, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

*1st Lt. Hugh W. Robbins, O-749933, Navigator, Buried Cedar Bluff Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland

*S/Sgt. William G. Glass, 38117765, Flight Engineer, Buried Epinal American Cemetery, B–42–36

S/Sgt. Samuel M. Assey, 20304258, Radio Operator, Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania

S/Sgt. Mike Flores, 39571005, Tail Gunner, California

22 January, 1945

With its left engine damaged by FLAK, while over the target on a Pathfinder marking mission, this bomber approached the A-72 air base with the left engine running only part of the time. After several attempts of landing during the heavy snow storm covering the base that day, the bomber was diverted by A-72 Drunkard Control toward the Cambrai A-74 Air Base. As it flew over Tincourt-Boucly, both engines stopped. The bomber crashed into the Bois de Buire, 1,200 meters west of this memorial.

*Two men were killed during the crash when they were crushed by electronic equipment falling on them. The Pilot and Co-Pilot were both awarded the Soldiers Medal for their efforts in removing the two men’s bodies from the burning bomber.

The Soldiers Medal is the United States highest non-combat medal awarded

This could be a pff ship:You can see an H on the fuselage behind the wing. This is from the 323rd BG. No squadron had that letter in the first two of the code. 596th/394th Bg had H9 but a different tail flash. Could the I of IH be censored?

Hillman Hellcat IH-N

Terrible Turk

41-31668 387BG 559BS “TERRIBLE TURK”
11 Feb 44 transferred to 1.PFF “TERRIBLE TURK”
13 Mar 44 88mm shell passed through fuselage and exploded above aircraft. Pilot Lt. Turk
27 Sep 44 to 31 Mar 45


CHERE AMIE 42-96223 IH-O

41-31903 IH-T

44-67881 IH-W

Are these men also from the 1st PFF?

322nd Oboe.

Pathfinders & Night Missions Posted on 2015-04-06 22:14:18


The first OBOE installation (British invention, modified by M.I.T. RADLAB) was made in a 322nd BG Marauder on January 25th, 1944. It consisted of a 400 pound apparatus with the antenna, modulator inverter and voltage regulator in the rear bomb bay and the receiver, filter and control junction box in the Navigator’s section. The apparatus was a radar beacon (also termed a transponder) which was tracked by two coastal radars a hundred miles apart (Cat and Mouse). The secrecy that surrounded the blind bombing systems of WWII was such that little historical material forund their way into normal archival files. So secret was the equipment that this initial installation was kept under continous MP guard, even the use of the term “Pathfinder” was restricted. The 1st Pathfinder Squadron (M) provisional was activated on February 16th, 1944. It consisted of highly experienced aircrews from 322nd BG, 323rd BG, 386th BG, 387th BG and 391st BG. By end of February 1944 the squadron consisted of 11 Marauders and 345 Officers and Enlisted Men. After a year the force was 30 Marauders and 31 aircrews.

1st Pathfinder Squadron (Provisional)

Pathfinders & Night Missions Posted on 2014-05-18 08:27:37